Animated ‘The Last Game’: Nike #RiskEverything Part 3

Just three days before the big kick off and Nike Football rolls out its latest ‘Risk Everything’ blockbuster – a five-minute animated feature called ‘The Last Game’


Effectively the third spot-led major phase of its integrated, 360 global #RiskEverything World Cup ambush initiative, the plot sees cartoon versions of Nike player ambassadors on a ‘risky’ mission to save football from the hands of a villainous mastermind (The Scientist) and his unbeatable squad of grey, characterless clones.


The theme is that the human passion of the real, risk-taking players must triumph over the ruthlessly efficient, but risk averse robots.



The film features Nike player ambassadors Ronaldo, Zlatan, Neymar, Luiz, Iniesta, Ribery, Rooney, Howard (yes, that’s US keeper Tim Howard) and retired Brazilian great Ronaldo (most of whom have appeared in previous Risk Everything executions).


The spot also has the now seemingly de-rigour non-football star cameos from other Nike ambassadors such as LeBron James.


Nike teamed up with long term agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland and with Passion to create the film (with further input from a host of outfits including Whitehouse Post, I Love Dust, Sports On Screen, Finishing Glassworks).


The ad was written by Alberto Ponte, art directed by Ryan O’Rourke and directed by Jon Saunders through Passion.


A warm, friendly and fun tone is something of a departure from the usual Nike combative emotional inspiration.


Indeed it features humorously over the top cartoon characteristics which gently mock the star players – from Zlatan’s ego to Rooney’ scouse accents (although not retired Brazilian Ronaldo’s physique) – and fun references to the ‘selfie’ trend of the moment and Nike’s iconic 2010 World Cup ‘Write The Future’ ad.


It follows the sportswear ambusher’s previous two #RiskEverything World Cup campaign phases – Part 1 led by ‘Pressure Shapes Legends’ (see case study) and Part 2 led by ‘Winner Stays On’ (see case study).


Indeed, this third part in the World Cup guerilla programme also ties to the previous ‘Winner Stays On’ spot through its music track – ‘Miss Alissa’ by Eagles of Death Metal.


‘The idea behind “The Last Game” is to show the world that Nike, like any true lover of football, believes that the game should be brilliant, daring and bold,’ explains Nike chief marketing officer Davide Grasso.


‘Having the confidence to take risks is absolutely vital in football.’




Creatively it is ‘Pixar’s The Incredibles meets Write The Future’ – it is beautifully crafted and has a detailed, soft touch.


And impressive 16.8 million YouTube views in just two days ‘aint half bad.


That’s twice the numbers racked up by Beats By Dr Dre’s much discussed and widely admired ‘The Game before The Game’ (see case study).


But does it feel like ‘Nike’?


Does it truly project the brand’s famous emotional, motivational, inspirational, innovative and powerfully combative values?


Does it truly stir the blood?


Or does it feel more like a beautiful BBC ident?


Now, can we get on with the football!


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