Nike’s Unconventional Superstars, South Park’s Virtual Odor: Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Super Bowl MVP Von Miller covers Bieber for EA Sports, and vowels go missing around the world for a good cause.

Nike’s Unconventional Superstars, South Park’s Virtual Odor: Top 5 Ads Of The Week

It’s a rare occurrence, to have two ads from the same brand get into the top five in the same week–like a 20 strikeout game, or scoring a rouge. But that’s what happens when you knock out two great commercials in a single week. Maybe it’s the Olympics, or perhaps it’s not wanting to wait to tell two amazing stories in a fun and inspiring way, but whichever, Nike managed to pull it off. Onward!


Nike “Unlimited Youth”

What: An 86-year-old nun, Sister Madonna Buder, shows us that the limitations of age may be a mirage.
Who: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Why We Care: Smack-dab in the middle of the Olympics, Nike drops a handful of hero ads introducing inspirational athletes who may be even lesser known to the broader sports audience than the swimmers and gymnasts we love every four years.

Nike “Unlimited Will”

What: The final ad of Nike’s Unlimited campaign stars Kyle Maynard, the first quadruple amputee to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro without using prosthetics.
Who: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Why We Care: What a way to end a pretty great campaign. You thought the nun was impressive? How about climbing a mountain with no arms or legs?

Ubisoft “South Park: The Fractured Whole–Nosulus Rift Experience”

What: An odorous spoof of our current obsession with virtual reality, to help promote the new South Park video game at Gamescom in Germany
Who: Ubisoft
Why We Care: Look, we’re as excited about the potential of VR as the next nerd, but even the most earnest enthusiasm can be taken down a peg or two in the name of a laugh. And who better to do it than South Park? Here we get a ridiculous product presentation, delivered with the same gushing hype as many of our earlier media obsessions, that’s also the most elaborate fart joke we’ve ever seen.

NHS “Missing Type”

What: The second year of the NHS’s blood donation drive, with major brands and organizations from 21 countries dropping their As, Bs, and Os to raise awareness.
Who: NHS, WCRS, Engine
Why We Care: It’s not often that brands can team up on the same campaign, but this great cause is perhaps the best excuse to see what brands and landmarks like Google, Microsoft, Tesco, the Sydney Opera House, and more would look like with a few missing letters. Last year’s edition won a gold Cyber Lion at Cannes, and more importantly, attracted new blood donors, with 30,000 people registering as blood donors across England and North Wales in just 10 days. Let’s hope this year’s international effort has the same effect.

EA Sports “Start Me ft. Von Miller”

What: A Bieber-inspired plea from Super Bowl MVP Von Miller for gamers to put him in their Madden NFL 17 starting lineup
Who: EA Sports, Heat
Why We Care: It may not be as explosive as last year’s Madden: The Movie, but instead of trying to out-explode itself, EA smartly took its tendency for the ridiculous to a poppier place. Extra marks for getting Miller to sing the song himself. And word is, there are more NFL/pop star covers to come.


About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.