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Ad Review: Nike's 'I Would Run to You'

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Weiden and Kennedy have done many great adverts for Nike and the latest one, "I Will Run to You" is definitely one of them. The film was directed by renowned commercial director Ringan Ledwidge and shot in three cities and five states over the course of 11 days. Looking closely at the advert, I momentarily thought that I was watching a mini romantic comedy (I will not be surprised if there is a sequel). It is sprinkled with the cliche ideas of boundless and undying love. In all honesty I think this sense of boundless love is quite endearing. From the opening seconds of the advert I was plunged into listening to a duet with two long distance lovers. The female is wearing pink Nikes, the male is not. This is to later become a huge hindrance to his performance. Soon enough the man's ability to run drastically declines, whilst his girlfriend is advancing in her physical pursuits. This realization in the visual leads me to admire the subtlety in communicating the superiority of a brand over another. In addition to the subtlety, the female wearing Nike is running in an environment that looks like a utopia, whilst the man is running in an environment that looks like a dystopia. Furthermore, there is a contrast of daytime and nightime. I think the use of stark contrast and dichotomies was in an effort to further communicates the superiority of the brand. I think this effective in providing consistency in brand representation.


The overarching theme of the advert is running, and such activities require a lot of motivation. In the advert I see that love for her partner motivates her. She's driven by her desire to see her loved one. This is echoed as she sings "I Will Run to You." To the audience the 'you' in that sentence could be personal goals. I think Weiden and Kennedy have made 'you' open to interpretation in order to encourage the audience to examine who the 'you' is in their own life. With this in mind, it led me to ask myself what my motivation for running was. My motivations ranged from increasing stamina to just getting some fresh air. The advert communicates that whatever your motivation, RUN STRONGER and do it with Nike. This is further justified by the close up shots of the Nike shoes.

I think that this advert successfully explores human will-power, love and relationships. I also do admire the way Weiden and Kennedy twist gender expectaions by making the woman the heroine and the man as the helpless victim. I think they took this approach because they wanted to communicate to two types of women; those who were presently into running and those still contemplating running. In this case, I think the group contemplating running are very important because it is quite likely that this group probably doubt their ability to DO IT and get fit. The advert focuses on this group by making them feel empowered to get our there and RUN STRONGER and be determined in reaching their fitness goals.

Enjoy.