Sports buffs in Shanghai can shop with hard earned sweat, literally, made possible by Nike Shanghai City Attack “Never Enough”, an integrated offense centered around a digital activation that motivated casual, everyday athletes to become more dedicated athletes. The project launched on November 18 and will run through December18, 2018.
It is a product of the creative group synergy comprising of AKQA Shanghai, Hydra MNL (Acidhouse / Plus63 / Inksurge) for the artistry, RecRoom Kuala Lumpur for the creation of sport-inspired beats, MILLPEDE AUS (an AKQA subsidiary) in charge of the technological aspect, and Huaglom Bangkok which crafted graphic animations for the launch teaser and traffic drivers.
In an exclusive online interview, Eric Cruz, AKQA Shangai Executive Creative Director, tells adobo magazine how this shop takes sports and shopping experience to a whole new level. “The online to offline experience came to life through the 24-hour Nike “Never Done Shop” – an experiential 360º retail space that allows you to purchase Nike products, services and experiences using only your “sweat as currency”.”, Eric says.
Your sweat while you get active and pursue sports becomes your “Sweatcoins”. These are produced through the tracking and tallying of your sport data, via NRC (Nike + Run Club), NTC (Nike+ Training Club), Joyway Basketball Court check-in’s and Skate Trick UGC video uploads. The more SweatCoins, the more items you can redeem from the mobile e-commerce site.”, Eric elaborates.
The geniuses behind the campaign did not settle for a half marathon so to speak, they went for an ‘ultra’. Instead of a flat panorama, they generated a more immersive 360 degree world to give the shop “a true sense of the bricks and mortar shop based on the brand film. We enhanced the real life shop with a virtual one and continued the story beyond film.”
Ivan Despi, Founder, artist & director of Acid House, shared that they had to pattern the shop from Nike’s TV spot for Shanghai. “It needed to exist in the same world as the film, so we had to digitally recreate the actual assets that were shot, and use these to expand it into a 360-degree environment. The shoot was done in Shanghai, but for the duration of that shoot we were in contact with the AKQA team so they can document each and every item seen in the film.”
The animation of the characters must also be in line with how athletes move. “After delivering all the illustrated assets needed for the project, we were also tasked to create several animated character loops. Eric was mindful of the movement in these sequences so he constantly consulted with real athletes in SH to make sure the animation is believable.”, Ivan adds.
But nothing great comes easy. Eric admits, the project is one of the most demanding and challenging productions he has handled. The main hurdle was with time, considering that a 2-3 month-project was squeezed into a month only, in time for China’s Golden Week holidays. The shop kicked off in time for the Shanghai Marathon which was participated in by more than 38,000 runners.
Hydra Design Group’s Dan Matutina shares, they were challenged to put out an excellent product despite of the time constraints. “The main challenges were: 1. The short timeline and 2. the amount of work that needed to be done. The work that needed to be done was extremely detailed, so it added to the difficulty level of the project.”
Fate has brought Eric with key teams for this project. Earlier this year, he met the HYDRA team during the adobo Design Awards Asia (ADAA) judging. “I’m always looking out for interesting people to collab with since that’s just how we work. We had worked with both Dan and Ivan separately on a few projects for Nike, but our relationship was primarily “virtual”. We know of each other and have mutual respect because we find a common kinship in each other’s work. I’d known of Inksurge since 2006 early on at the start of their career. And I had always wanted to collaborate with them. So “fate and circumstance met each other” and necessity being the mother of invention, it ended up being HYDRA’s first cross studio collab.” Same is true for Huaglom Bangkok. Eric met up with Huaglom at their studio, on the side of his lecture in Bangkok for the Digital Advertising Awards DAAT.
“Everyone from the team (both from Hydra and AKQA) wanted to the work to be good, so there were a lot of debates. That aspect of the collaboration made the final product great.”, Dan says.
“As far as collaboration with Eric and AKQA goes, while he always pushes the quality of the work, he is also open to discussing various aspects of the project, and his team is never selfish with offering insight and help wherever they can. I think that's one of the biggest factors why we pulled this off in a short span of time.”, tells Ivan.
Cruz enthuses, the Shanghai Never Done Shop proves truism to the fact that creatives thrive in “borderless collaboration” because “it allows us to tap into a vast pool of talented artists who amplify our own ability and make us better. We treasure and value the integrity behind such relationships because it’s how we gain mutual trust with the creators we collaborate with. It’s like a global / regional design and creative dialogue.
The collaboration and the shop itself prove that hardearned sweat pays off.