Pretty Damn Good

Wieden + Kennedy harkens back to the days of Janet Champ and her women’s empowerment campaign for Nike with this new spot featuring tennis sensation, Maria Sharapova.
The spot skillfully uses a song from West Side Story to set the mood and the storyline.
“I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any girl who isn’t me tonight.” – Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein
Then, just when the viewer is lost in agreement, for Sharapova is indeed quite pretty, she blasts her opponent’s serve for a winner, leaving viewers and seasoned announcer, John McEnroe, stunned in the wake of her athletic prowess.

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. Thank you for posting the better definition version here. I really do not follow the tennis scene or celebrity scene, but this women does appear focused here. At one point in the ad she lets in a very tiny grin. I guess I might call it that. In the taxi, right after the “photo shoot” and before the “singing”, her eyes look down, and those Russian cheeks let up just a tad. She looks real and marvelous in that moment.
    and then of course, it’s good to see the credits.

  2. polish babushka says:

    Oh, dear Maria,
    please tell me (and confirm for Janet’s “statistics lie”) that you aren’t really 59 kilo, gal. Cause if you are, at that height and with the muscles you need to be a top player, you might need a good helping of homemade pierogi/varniki or whatever you traditionally call them.
    You bring the farmer’s cheese, I’ve got the dough and rolling pin. We’ll boil ~and fry them in butter. I’ve got a son your age who usually helps me with the production in the kitchen. He’s still growing, but is over six feet. He’s smart. He’s handsome.
    Yours truly,
    Polish grandmother 🙂
    (adpulp, please excuse me using this site for personal letters. Feel free to delete to my silly babblings tonight. I’m just having fun.)

  3. wow maria, i still like watching this one, and you motivated me to use my dolphin kick to maximum advantage the other day at the swimming pool.
    I also had pierogi for lunch today. Store bought, but still good. Not as good as my homemade ones.
    About my sons…they have all found girlfriends or a wife. As for me: I’m still unhitched. Do you know any tall men over six feet that don’t have huge beerguts and appreciate a good game of tennis? See, as Pascal said:
    22. Let no one say that I have said nothing new; the arrangement of the subject is new. When we play tennis, we both play with the same ball, but one of us places it better. I had as soon it said that I used words employed before. And in the same way if the same thoughts in a different arrangement do not form a different discourse, no more do the same words in their different arrangement form different thoughts!
    Well, he also said this:
    We must see the matter at once, at one glance, and not by a process of reasoning, at least to a certain degree. And thus it is rare that mathematicians are intuitive and that men of intuition are mathematicians, because mathematicians wish to treat matters of intuition mathematically and make themselves ridiculous, wishing to begin with definitions and then with axioms, which is not the way to proceed in this kind of reasoning. Not that the mind does not do so, but it does it tacitly, naturally, and without technical rules; for the expression of it is beyond all men, and only a few can feel it.
    Mathematicians who are only mathematicians have exact minds, provided all things are explained to them by means of definitions and axioms; otherwise they are inaccurate and insufferable, for they are only right when the principles are quite clear. And men of intuition who are only intuitive cannot have the patience to reach to first principles of things speculative and conceptual, which they have never seen in the world and which are altogether out of the common.
    I’m getting off topic, but to bring this story back to the point set, and match and a lesson in marketing and advertising:
    Pensees published 1660 in the rebirth.
    And in all this quatsch about the iPhone, and Apple you will find the answer right there. A combination of intuitive and mathematical. And that is the magic. I still think 99% of the internet is playing a tired and flat ball. Some 1% can arrange the game new.

  4. Hey maria,
    there’s something about you girl, I don’t know. Maybe it’s ancestral.
    Anyway. I read you interview. Sorry, I am so out of the loop that i didn’t even know Wimbleton was going on. I don’t have any TV reception here. But I did glance in the sports on the internet.
    Anyway i love how you answered a silly interview question.
    Q. How will it hold, do you think, through the tournament?
    MARIA SHARAPOVA: That’s the future. Do I look like Ms. Cleo? I don’t know, we’ll see. I’ll tell you what I’m done playing here.

  5. the difference between graphic design and a press conference and what an advertising firm can do for you.
    course, we know the ad (film) is just a reworking of the same plot in apple 1984,
    and the graphic and fashion design in that photographer craze/ menace is just a reworking of Maria’s red apron in west side story. Man if only there would have been females asking what’s wrong with her at that press event like in the sewing room of the movie.
    It must be the heat
    Or some rare disease,
    Or too much to eat
    Or maybe it’s fleas.
    Keep away from her,
    Send for Chino!
    This is not the
    Maria we know!
    Once upon a time the affluent turned lady Di into a princess, too. I often wonder what skin she felt better in–the princess or the less talkative kindergarden teacher. Does a person really change, pygmailion? Leave that statue alone.