The best brand marketing content captures or reflects the emotion of a cultural moment and associates it with the values of the brand. Nike is among the best brands at executing this tactic flawlessly.

Think back at the backlash Nike received for featuring Colin Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary campaign. From the view of 2020 and in wake of the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, Nike appears to have had incredible insight into the direction of the culture.

The company has done it again by tapping into our collective pandemic experience with the insanely creative You Can’t Stop Sport video. I discuss it with my podcast co-host B.L. Ochman here. Scroll down to the bottom to watch the full commercial.

Nike’s You Can’t Stop Sport Ad

David Erickson: Nike has an amazing new ad out.

BL Ochman: It’s fabulous.

David Erickson: Yeah, this is from…I found this on CNN. And their caption encapualizes it: “Nike’s latest ad sends a powerful message about COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter movement at a time when professional sports is struggling to start up amidst the pandemic.”

The ad had quickly become popular online. I think 23 million on YouTube was the last count I saw. And it is amazing.

Insanely Creative Split Screen Editing

David Erickson: It is titled You Can’t Stop Sport and it’s a split screen editing. So on one side is an image and the other side is another image; half of the screen is taken up with one image, the other half is another and it’s just footage of sports. On one side–it’s hard to explain without watching it. On one side, there’s a discus thrower and as it goes over to the other side it turns into a ballerina onstage. There’s another where a baseball player snaps his bat across his knees and simultaneously on the other side, there’s a golfer who does the same with his club. And the editing is simply insanely good. For anybody-

BL Ochman: Beautiful.

Four Thousand Hours Of Footage

David Erickson: Yeah. It is apparently 4,000 hours of sports footage that they needed to go through to align these. But we’ll embedded it in the show notes. It’s just amazing. So there’s–

BL Ochman: It’s a few minutes long.

David Erickson: It is. There’s–

BL Ochman: It’s not a 30 second spot, but it’s like a little documentary.

Sports Stars Featured

David Erickson: Yeah. There’s a description with the YouTube ad that said, You can’t stop Megan Rapinoe (soccer player), Serena Williams (everybody knows who Serna Williams is), LeBron James. Just as you can’t stop Naomi Osaka (who’s a tennis player), Cristiano Ronaldo (who’s a soccer player), and Leo Baker (I had to look some of these up–is a skateboarder). That one, definitely. Because as athletes we are never alone. Sports unites us, strengthens us, keeps us pushing ahead no matter what. We will always come back stronger together. You can’t stop sport because you can’t stop us.

Visual Overpowers The Message

David Erickson: And, you know…it’s almost like the editing got in the way the message because I didn’t really…I was so amazed with the editing that I didn’t really pay attention to the narrator or what they were actually saying. But yeah, we’ll put it in the show notes for everyone to see.

BL Ochman: I agree with you. It’s better to watch it with the sound off, I think.