Late December saw sportswear behemoth Nike link up with a divergent group of dancers who express themselves in both words and motion for a new campaign called ‘Own The Floor’ which seeks to celebrate the power and freedom in movement and shift Nike dance gear.
Spearheaded by a hero spot helmed by Director Ben Dean, the creative positions dance is an ultimate form of self-expression and sees the performers tell their own personal stories whilst throwing down moves and shapes as they performed by quintessential New York City locations.
Accompanied by an eclectic score, the commercial was shot with production company Freenjoy and it embraces iconic locations and eye-catching performers with a playful yet stylish tone as the dancers reimagine the city as their dance floor. It features pizzerias, laundromats, subway platforms, elevator cars and even a commuter ferry all become dance floors as local dancers joyous showcase their love of movement, music and city life.
The campaign seeks to push the boundaries of what both dance and dancers look like whilst finding power and freedom in movement. The ad was shot in New York over three days in November and seeks to capture the hectic fun of living in a city that lets you be whoever you want to be and showcase some of the small, special moments New Yorkers experience where they can take a break from it all, connect with themselves, wind down, think, imagine and practice.
The stars of the spot are Kayla Maria G, Tamisha Guy, MJ Choi, Aiyr, Crees, Dijah Mcfee, Wynove Mcclam, Jenn Kelly and Kevin Kim and all appear in Nike gear.
“Dance is the ultimate form of self-expression, and NYC is one big stage,” commented Director Dean. “When you embrace that possibility, you defy convention and norms, creating space for something new. Each dancer gives us a window into their city experience. The goal was to feel each dancer, who they are and what they stand for, rather than seeing it as a performance for the camera. It’s a moment where they can block out all the noise and the hustle and bustle of New York and truly be in their element.”
The campaign was created by Nike NYC’s Wyatt Angelo, Carlo Michelangelo Lutto and Nathan Skinner.
The production company was Freenjoy where the team included Executive Producers Ben Piety and Nathan Scherrer, Producer Lizzie Shapiro, DOP Scott Cunningham, EditorJordan Orme, with sound handled by Raphaël Ajuelos and music by Raphaël Ajuelos, Keli Holiday and Adam Hyde. The colorist was Mike Rossiter, the AD was Neil Savage with Movi Op Ryan Hamelin, 2nd Unit DP Ben Elias, Choreographer Celia Rowlson Hall, Stylist Juliann McCandless, with casting handled by Kate Antognini and the flame artist was Tim Hendrix.
Whilst this work certainly share the creative approach and the spirit of Nike’s current global ‘Play New‘ platform it doesn’t directly run under the umbrella initiative’s banner.
But it does presents fitness and movement – top-of-mind for many around New Year – in fresh and exhilarating ways.
Whilst there is no direct tie-in or official connection of partnership, ‘Own The Floor’ also lays a path towards the 2024 Paris Olympics where breakdancing will feature for the first time and where several leading competitors look certain to wear Nike attire.
Indeed, late last year the Paris 2024 Olympics were promoted by a striking dance piece by Sadeck Waff called ‘Human Geometric’.