The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike
February 21, 2017 2:38 PM   Subscribe

The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike
This is a (longish) short story about brand strategy and revolution, published by Fireside. Deeply informed by being nose-deep in the never-ending election/political threads since, what, July? ...Content warning for contemporary politics.
Role: writer
posted by Andrhia (3 comments total)

IT IS SO GOOD. It feels like a specification for something that Nike or a similar brand could actually take up and run with. It's amazing.
posted by brainwane at 5:45 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Andrhia, can you talk about what, if anything, is particularly realistic or unrealistic in the whole pitching/client briefing process in this story?
posted by brainwane at 6:18 AM on February 23


Oh my gosh thank you so much <3

This is basically true to the pitching process as I've experienced it, though I've taken some creative liberties with fact. For example, Nike's agency is Wieden + Kennedy out of Portland, but I placed my unnamed pretend agency where Ogilvy is in New York. Beyond that, a lot of the conversations in this piece are almost verbatim from real life: "curating a manifesto," "who's going to moderate that," the stuff about TTP. And sometimes the in-house marketing team write the brief for the agency to pitch to; sometimes the brand asks the agency what they think is needed, and that gets signoff.

The place where this goes completely into fairytale land is the greenlight onward. I've left out rounds of client approvals during production, but in practice, absolutely everything the agency did would be overseen on the Nike side and subject to signoff. It's... not unheard of for an otherwise very strong campaign to die on the vine during this phase, as the client loses nerve and wants to do something less bold, or their legal team says they can't do what was planned, or they try to trim the budget in ways that also undercut their objective. Death of a thousand papercuts. I like to think Nike isn't the sort of shop that ignores the professional advice of the people it's hired, and that's why W+K does such amazing work for them year in and year out.
posted by Andrhia at 7:36 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


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