Crispin Gets All “Last of the Mohicans” On Runners’ Asses

Eyebrows were raised earlier this year when Nike awarded a piece of its business to CP+B. After all, Nike’s top of mind presence can be traced directly to the decades of outstanding work from Wieden + Kennedy. I guess, loyalty doesn’t mean much when you have shoes to sell.
According to The Wall Street Journal, CP+B hoped to break away from all that history.

“We didn’t want it to feel like a Nike commercial in the beginning. We wanted the consumer to say: ‘What is this?'” says Alex Bogusky, a chief creative officer at Crispin Porter.
The commercials will air on ABC Family, MTV, ESPN and Comedy Central, among other channels. Print ads are set to run in specialty magazines including Runner’s World and Shape.

I have a lot of respect for Crispin, but I don’t see a breakthrough idea at work in the spot above. Instead, I see them leaning on high production values to carry the day. So, the spot is not only un-Wieden, it’s un-Crispin.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I’m not impressed…I agree that it seems to lack a strong idea…I believe that Crispin is not a place the does “sophisticated” work like Wieden does, so they’re playing in a new sandbox and it shows here. Editorially, it seems to borrow a lot from “Move” but let’s face it, it’s not even in the same zip code as the better Wieden work…

  2. David… You have to wonder what the fuck, when you read Boguskey’s comment… “We didn’t want it to feel like a Nike commercial in the beginning. We wanted the consumer to say: ‘What is this?'” Then why didn’t they put “The King” and “The Chicken” in there? Better yet how about “The Zombie Orville Redenbacher?” Jesus, these guys crack me up… What do they think they’re running there… A funhouse?

  3. George,
    I’m a big beliver in advertising as entertainment. As long as it’s on strategy and moves product. I just think Crispin missed the mark on this effort. However, I doubt they’ll continue to throw balls on this account. And when you think about the pressure to top Wieden’s mountain of work for Nike, damn, that would keep one up at night.

  4. Pattern Recognition says:

    “We didn’t want it to feel like a Nike commercial in the beginning. We wanted the consumer to say: ‘What is this?'”-Alex B
    I don’t think that most Nike ads feel like “Nike ads” in the beginning. Not sure what he’s talking about.
    I think the ad is somewhat clever and strategic, but lacks the “oomph.”
    The best Wieden stuff, for Nike and others, has a sense of otherworldliness that I don’t think i’ve ever seen Crispin do. It’s not really their style, they’re more into the smart and hilarious 2X4 between the eyes.

  5. Why did Adage call this crispin’s “First Work” for Nike? And why did you guys?
    CPB did the horrendous “Hives” commercial months ago, no?

  6. @ Dean –
    I read the post over a number of times and couldn’t find where I said it was Cripin’s initial outing for Nike. Then I saw the word “first” in my response to George above. It’s gone now.