GRID by Akqa London, Wieden + Kennedy London for Nike

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GRID

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Industry Sportswear, Athletic Footwear & Accessories, Games
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Akqa London
Creative Director Andrew Tuffs
Agency Wieden + Kennedy London
Designer Sean Murphy
Released April 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Consumer Engagement
Advertiser: NIKE
Product/Service: RUNNING-BASED ONLINE GAME
Agency: AKQA
Agency: WIEDEN+KENNEDY
Date of First Appearance: Apr 22 2010
Entrant Company: MINDSHARE, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Client Partner: Nick Ashley (Mindshare)
Business Director: Sarah Sutton (Mindshare)
Strategist: Chungaiz Khan Mumtaz (Mindshare)
Outdoor Planner: Jeremy Taylor (Mindshare)
Creative Director: Andrew Tuffs (AKQA)
Senior Copywriter: Guy Bingley (AKQA)
Senior Designer: Hugo Gomes (AKQA)
Account Director: James Britton (AKQA)
Senior Project Manager: Alia Burley (AKQA)
Client Partner: Giles McCormack (AKQA)
Head of Software Development: Greg Sharp (AKQA)
Chief Creative Officer: Daniel Bonner (AKQA)
Group Account Director: Nic Owen (Wieden & Kennedy)
Creative Directors: Stu Harkness/Ben Terrett/Guy Featherstone (Wieden & Kennedy)
Creatives: Laura Watkins/Leah Reeves (Wieden & Kennedy)
Lead Game Designer: Dan Hon (Wieden & Kennedy)
Planners: Graeme Douglas/Emma Wiseman (Wieden & Kennedy)
Designer: Sean Murphy (Wieden & Kennedy)
Account Directors: Ryan Fisher/Laura Ellert (Wieden & Kennedy)
Media placement: Street Talk - London - 12 April 2010
Media placement: Map / Sport Mag Distribution - Outside Key Universities - 12 April 2010
Media placement: 6 Sheets - London - 19 April 2010
Media placement: Digital 48s - London - 19 April 2010
Media placement: Nickables - London Universities - 27 September 2010
Media placement: Covent Garden Tube Domination - Covent Garden Tube - 4 October 2010
Media placement: 6 Sheets - London-Wide / Universities - 11 October 2010
Media placement: Phone Kiosks - London Boroughs - 18 October 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Insight:
Nike was founded 40yrs ago as an innovative running brand, inspiring a new generation of runners. However, running has become “old”: marathon runners average 36yrs old; only 13% of 17-22s run. Running needs to become youthful again. The objective was to engage 17-22yr old runners without any overt messages, which they’d reject as “not for me”: though they run, they don’t identify as “Runners”. For them, running’s lonely. Boring. With bleeding nipples and blister plasters. In lycra.
Strategy:
Augment the running experience. Re-invent it. Create a movement. A starter’s gun, not a finish line.
Idea:
“Nike GRID” turned running into a game. Players “claim their streets” – solo or team – over a specified time period. They amass points, badges and prizes for runs completed across one or more of 48 London postcodes. They won fame in their neighbourhood. The game measured running in points, not time or distance.

Creative Execution
Engagement comes from manipulating existing environments, surprising your audience, giving a sense of ownership… not technology du jour.

GRID fused media channels: old with new, real-world with digital.

Historically, phoneboxes would’ve raised awareness using exterior-wraps; inside was reserved for call-girls. For GRID they became entry/exit points for the game, with an interactive phone-system, and branded-content inside and out.

Players ran between 200 near-redundant phoneboxes, across London. GRID was probably their first time inside one! The 48 postcodes tapped into a sense of identity. Participation was laddered from individual to team, ultimately representing North/South/East/West.

Nikegrid.com registered players, but Facebook.com/NikeGrid was the nerve-centre. Nike conversed with players, delivering real-time updates heightening game-play. Individuals shared tactics, following online and digital OOH leaderboards, and data-visualisation films.

Players were motivated by points, occasionally prizes, but predominantly fame. Postcode winners were celebrated on phoneboxes as “Crownholders”. Badges and profile pictures on Facebook are testament to achievements.

Results and Effectiveness
GRID was sustained by a core, engaged community of 5,000 fans (74% 17-22 vs. 1% of Asics’ 2009 “Run to the Beat” demographic). They made the game their own, sharing tactics every 6 minutes on Facebook – 30% receiving replies from other players.

On average, 12 minutes was spent on Nike’s GRID sites.

During the games, players logged more than one run per minute. Some logged 40+ runs a day; 9 ran every single phonebox across 48 postcodes!

Nike’s brand tracker scores rose: “Innovation” +11pts. “Cool Brand” +3pts.

The community didn’t just run London. They ran halfway round the Earth: 12,500 miles.