A scene in Nike Korea’s new spot shows a freeway buried in snow, with a snowboarder racing between abandoned, ice-covered cars. It’s one in a series of arresting urban images in an energetic spot celebrating rule-breakers. Everything is tied together with a catchy track by Jay Park, Korean-American rapper and hip-hop artist.
The song and music video are a collaboration between Nike and Park; it’s called “Run It,” and it’s part of a campaign called “Impossible to Ignore,” which honors people who ignored conventions to cut their own path. The ad, from Wieden & Kennedy Tokyo and directed by We Are From LA, is just in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea. Set in a gritty, wintry Seoul, it’s got a big cast ranging from elite athletes to ordinary people. (Kudos to the kid doing a random joyful dance performance at the convenience store).
The music video includes appearances by SukHee Shim, an Olympic gold medalist in short track speed skating; HyunMi Choi, a world champion female boxer who is a North Korean refugee; HyunMin Han, a half-Korean, half-Nigerian model; and a choreographer who goes by two names, J Black and J Pink, a feminine alter ego.
People can take their own videos showing self-expression through sport and send them to Nike via South Korea’s Kakao messaging app; Wieden Tokyo and Stink London will wrap them into a fan-made lyric video version of Park’s tune, which has backup vocals by Jessi and Woo Wonjae.