Nike Promo, Case study NIKE GRID by Akqa London, Wieden + Kennedy London

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Industry Sportswear, Athletic Footwear & Accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Akqa London
Creative Director Andrew Tuffs
Agency Wieden + Kennedy London
Creative Director Ben Terrett, Stu Harkness, Guy Featherstone
Creative Laura Watkins, Leah Reeves
Designer Sean Murphy
Released April 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media Marketing
Advertiser: NIKE
Product/Service: NIKE RUNNING
Agency: AKQA
Date of First Appearance: Apr 15 2010
Entrant Company: AKQA, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Entry URL:
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)
Senior Account Director: Gareth Nettleton (AKQA)
Chief Creative Officer: James Hilton (AKQA)
Group Account Director: Nic Owen (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative Director: Stu Harkness/Ben Terrett/Guy Featherstone (Wieden+Kennedy)
Creative: Laura Watkins/Leah Reeves (Wieden+Kennedy)
Lead Game Designer: Dan Hon (Wieden+Kennedy)
Planner: Graeme Douglas/Emma Wiseman (Wieden+Kennedy)
Designer: Sean Murphy (Wieden+Kennedy)
Account Director: Ryan Fisher/Laura Ellert (Wieden+Kennedy)
Partner: Nick Ashley (Mindshare)
Business Director: Sarah Sutton (Mindshare)
Strategist: Chungaiz Khan Mumtaz (Mindshare)
Outdoor Planner: Jeremy Taylor (Mindshare)
Group Creative Director: Duan Evan (AKQA)
Media placement: Facebook Engagment Ads - Facebook - 15 April 2010
Media placement: Outdoor - Central London Phoneboxes And Bus Shelters 6 Sheets - 15 April 2010
Media placement: Online Media - Spotify / MSN / Guestlist - 15 April 2010
Media placement: TV - 10 Spots - E4 - 01 October 2010
Media placement: Print - Guestlist - 08 October 2010
Media placement: University Media - Stealable Maps And Stickers In Student Media - 08 October 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Nike was founded 40 years ago as an innovative running brand, inspiring a new generation of runners. However, participation in running has since moved on from Nike’s youth heartland and grown older: 13% of 17-22s run; marathon runners are 36 years old, on average.

We needed to engage a new generation, but without an overt running message that might be rejected as ‘Not for me’. To them, running is lonely and boring.

Nike Grid was created with a focused objective in mind: to unlock an interest in running amongst people that wouldn’t ordinarily call themselves runners (due to a lack of association with the established culture of running and a pre-determined opinion of what running was and should be), by re-presenting what it could be, using playful interaction design, gaming theory and the unmistakable energy of Nike. This was something we couldn’t just say; we had to do.

Creative Execution
Nike Grid took place in London over two game periods, both built around the central objective of running through the city to claim territory and rewards. Runs were logged via a physical connection with the cityscape – phone boxes – rendering the experience uniquely and unequivocally ‘London’. All you needed to play was a desire to run and a Facebook account. Because the phone box system was connected to Facebook, players were able to publish and share their running activity instantly. was the nerve centre for the game: players came for hints and tips, new ‘glitch’ games (dropped daily), data visualisation films and leaderboards. By managing the community around the clock and heroing the best performers, Grid galvanised online and real-world friendships. The community has continued to grow (with our support), creating its own groups and real-world meet-ups for the most addicted players.

Results and Effectiveness
Grid created a depth of engagement unseen in any recent Nike activation project. 31,000 total runs were logged. 62,000 phone calls made. 74% of players were 17-22.

During April’s 24-hour game, players logged 125 runs per hour and left Facebook comments every 6 minutes on average. 30% of comments received responses from other players.

For October’s 2-week game, activity created 457,886 daily stream impressions on Facebook. Fans were spending an average 7 minutes and 30 seconds on our Facebook page.

Players changed their profile pictures to Grid-related photos and logos and, when the game ended, organised their own celebration party.