AWAKEN THE PHANTOM

ClientNIKE FOOTBALL
Category E03. Innovative Use of Social or Community
TitleAWAKEN THE PHANTOM
Product/ServiceNIKE PHANTOMVSN FOOTBALL BOOT
Entrant WIEDEN+KENNEDY AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Idea Creation WIEDEN+KENNEDY AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Media Placement MINDSHARE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production SMILE MEDIA Barcelona, SPAIN
Production 2 BLACK LABEL PRODUCTIONS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 3 GLASSWORKS Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Production 4 THE MILL London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Eric Quennoy, Mark Bernath Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Executive Creative Director
Craig Williams, Evgeny Primachenko Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Creative Director
Riccardo Rachello, Henrik Edelbring Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Art Director
Jake Barnes, Tyler Andre Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Copywriter
Joe Togneri Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Head of Broadcast Production
Elissa Singstock, Soey Lim Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Broadcast Producer
Sanne Van Hattum Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Assistant Producer
Stephane Missier Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Planning Director
Hillary Heath Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Communications Planning Director
Kathryn Addo, Alyssa Ramsey Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Group Account Director
Amber Martin Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Account Director
Fulvio Itagiba Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Account Manager
Abderrahim El Khouani Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Account Executive
Joe Burrin Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Head of Design
Lizzie Murray Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Studio Director
Lewis Beedham Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Studio Artist
Gustav von Platen Designer Designer
Loes Poot, Saskia Van Zwieten Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Project Manager
Emilie Douqué, Belen Jerez Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Business Affairs
Arthur Couvat, Joe Walton Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam Editor
Matthew Vaughn Black Label Productions Director
George Richmond Black Label Productions Director of Photography
Tim Wild Black Label Productions Producer
Dom Freeman Black Label Productions Executive Producer

Background

In the wake of the 2018 World Cup, Nike Football set out to launch a new boot: the PhantomVSN. As young footballers around the world prepared for their upcoming season, we wanted to make this boot the must-have for the pitch. We know that word of mouth and athlete endorsements are much more powerful than just pure brand messages. So we decided to leverage our core athletes and footballing audience to help us spread the message of this new boot and its benefits. And make PhantomVSN the top selling premium football boot of the season.

Describe the strategy

To ensure we reached our core young footballer audience, we honed in on two of their key behaviors to leverage: 1) their high usage of Instagram and propensity to follow their favorite athletes on the platform and 2) their habit of using messaging platforms like Whatsapp to communicate and share content directly with their friends. Through platform research, we also discovered that Whatsapp had recently launched an Android-only Small Business App with new features - including the ability to set up a business profile and an Auto-Reply feature, which would respond to all messages from new contacts with a single, automated message. Armed with these insights, we designed our approach: Use the authenticity and reach of Nike athletes on Instagram (150MM+ combined followers) to drive to a Whatsapp experience where young footballers could discover our film first.

Describe the execution

24-hours before our film went public, we used top footballers’ Instagram Stories to “leak” the film to their millions of followers. Those with a sharp-eye were drawn to a "secret" phone number and a hint to hit it up on Whatsapp. The number connected followers to a mysterious Phantom Whatsapp account that sent out a cryptic welcome message and leaked a link to the un-released film. The stories were live for a 24 hour period, so fans had to act fast if they wanted to see it first and earn bragging rights by sharing it before the “official” launch.

List the results

In the first 24-hours, The Phantom contact released the film to 6k unique contacts on Whatsapp and drove 30k views on YouTube. This indicates that recipients of the film link shared it with an estimated 5x friends or re-watched it repeatedly, marking significant engagement with our content - and giving the film viral buzz and momentum (organic views of 3.1MM) before going public on Nike platforms and in paid media (189MM views). Over the 72-hours The Phantom Whatsapp account remained active, it received 80k chat messages and over 10k video and voice calls. The Phantom was also added to multiple football-oriented group chats, adding Nike’s voice to their dark social conversations.