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Responses by Mckenna Koon, content strategist and Santino Stoner, executive producer/creative director, Conscious Minds

Background: Our objective for this project was to inspire Nike fans across social, particularly the female audience, to embrace their power through sport by celebrating the unique voices of four fighters. Boxers Ramla Ali and Zeina Nassar, wrestler Yasemin Adar and Taekwondo athlete Irem Yaman all exemplify what it’s like to be strong not at the expense of others, but by achieving their dreams and through raising others up.

Reasoning: Rather than reducing the athletes to the single dimension of their stories, our focus was to show them as the real ass-kicking women that they are. They can be fierce competitors in the ring or on the mat, winning at the highest levels of their sport, while also being thoughtful, funny and compassionate individuals. Each film challenges misperceptions about professional athletes, celebrating both their story and their sport.

Challenges: The project had a tight turnaround with over 400 deliverables in multiple languages and formats; we had the Conscious Minds (CM) creative and production teams working in our Portland and Los Angeles offices, alongside the Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) team in Singapore and Nike teams in Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Istanbul.

Favorite details: We love that each athlete was able to share her story, in her own voice, with the global @Nike audience. To that end, one of the athletes, Zeina Nassar, was able to see her dream come true by the International Boxing Federation changing the rules to now allow the acceptance of hijabs in competition.

Time constraints: A project with a tight timeline over the year-end holiday always presents a challenge, but the CM and BBH teams stayed in close communication to get everything delivered on time. From a creative perspective, these short films and the supporting campaign live on Instagram. To tell the story in this shorter timeframe, we had to incorporate soundbites from our interviews that helped to land their stories, and then thread them together to build out each personal narrative.

Visual influences: Since we were telling personal stories, we wanted to lean into a documentary style. When we saw director Emily McDonald’s past work, we knew she was the absolute perfect choice. Her ability to connect with her subjects in her interviews while maintaining an artistic filmmaking style was just what we needed. This was brought to life even more so with the help of her director of photography, Henry Lockyer, whose natural talent behind the camera is undeniable. Throughout the digital campaign, the BBH team was able to expertly leverage rich and unique visual approaches while innovating around best social practices with bespoke experiences.

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