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Nike & W+K Shanghai's Urban Art Gallery Puts Runners in the Spotlight

Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, 1 year, 11 months ago

Street art gallery pays tribute to the runners' unstoppable spirit

Nike & W+K Shanghai's Urban Art Gallery Puts Runners in the Spotlight

Shanghai isn’t the best place to run in. The air quality isn’t perfect. The streets are filled with obstacles like pedestrians, hawkers, tourists, scooters and taxis that don’t check their blind spots when they turn the corner. Why would anyone want to run in a city like that? And yet, there are runners everywhere. Even when it seems like there are a million reasons not to run- they are out there everyday, rain or shine, hail or thunderstorm, doing their thing. And this is why Nike truly believes that Shanghai runners are unstoppable.

To celebrate and honor this unstoppable spirit in Shanghai runners, Nike China and its creative partner W+K Shanghai created a series of bespoke art pieces to showcase the stories of the unique individuals who posses this remarkable quality. The art was displayed on the streets where can be seen by actual runners. By doing so, the brand transformed the whole city of Shanghai into a street art gallery. 

To tease the campaign, Nike pasted little stickers of runners all along the 5km-long running route in Century Park to play off of the idea of how Shanghai runners outrun the obstacles this city throws their way – tying the shoe laces, jumping over hand rest of a bench and dashing up slopes, etc. “We wanted to give the runners of this city a nod and we wanted to do it in way that doesn’t disrupt or intrude their run” said Terence Leong, Creative Director from W+K Shanghai.

When the campaign kicked off, 8 street art visuals were launched. Each KV featured a Shanghai runner who has a unique story to share. 

Tong Da Wei, became a tougher runner in the tough Shanghai city. Now he feels he can conquer running any city.

Xu Yun, after missed Shanghai Marathon entry for 3 years, she decided to run a half marathon on her own. 

The Dark Runners, a local run crew that runs this town like it has an all-access pass to the city. 

Jin Yuan, a retired professional runner, was painted on the side of a building along Moganshan Road by acclaimed street artist WK Interact. The stunning images capture the milestones of her unstoppable journey to becoming the Nike Run Club Head Coach. 

Aside from Jin Yuan’s mural by acclaimed street artist WK Interact, other visuals were illustrated by ilovedust and Shotopop. These are just some of the many pieces of the street gallery. If you take a close look at the visuals in the street, you’ll find an art plaque that credits the artist and honors the runner. Just like the information tags that you see when you’re browsing the art pieces in art gallery. Only this time the gallery is the city and the art pieces are the walls and billboards in the streets. You will also find a link or a QR code on the plaque as well, through which you will be directed to Nike City Page where you could experience more about the #Shanghai Unstoppable runner’s story.

On the day of the Shanghai Marathon, Nike placed inspiring messages at places along the route where runners need a boost. If you were in Shanghai on the Marathon day, you would have seen more art pieces to inspire and remind the runners why they’re unstoppable. Nike used media where they’re available and created some that doesn’t exist, like the man-carrying posters to motivate runners at their most painful and lonely last two kilometers.

Honoring runners doesn’t stop here. A mobile app was also created to immortalize the majority of marathon runners by creating a virtual mural of the moment they cross the finish line. 8 hours after they cross the finish line, marathon finishers can search for their portraits on the virtual mural. They can download it and share it with their friends and families. Hopefully, in the near future, the virtual mural won’t just exist in cyberspace, but on a 5-mile-long wall somewhere in the city as a tribute to Shanghai's Unstoppable runners. 

“We hope this campaign will not only provide the fuel to motivate Shanghai runners to run more, run further and faster, but also to remind everyone who lives in this great city that they have it in them to be truly unstoppable.” said Terence Leong, Creative Director from W+K Shanghai.

Creative Agency

Account Director: (Associate) Jim Zhou

Account Executive: (Sr) Shawn Kai, Sasa Yang

Art Buyer: Xuan Ong

Art Director: Nelson Ng, Timothy Cheng, Nadia Ahmad, Shaun Sundholm

Assistant Producer: Fangyuan, Jiji Hu

Business Affairs: Jessica Deng, Kathy Zhan

Business Director : Dino Xu

Copywriter: Jimmy Chen, Wei Liu, Arlene Lu

Creative Agency: W+K Shanghai

Creative Director: Terence Leong, Azsa West

Designer: Wendy Yu, Deer CL

Digital Designer: Yacheng Ke

Digital Producer: (Sr) Max Wu

Executive Creative Director: Yang Yeo

Head of Content Production: Angie Wong

Interactive Director : (Sr, Art) Marula Vaz

Production Manager: Vic Zhang

Project Manager: Nicole Bee

Senior Designer: Kevin Lunsong, Patrick Rockwell

Senior Planner: Paula Bloodworth

Senior Producer: Bernice Wong

Social: (Strategy) Coral Peng

UX Designer: Cherie Tang


Editor: Hiro Ikematsu, Paul Hwang

Production Company

Executive Producer: Jaslyn Loh

Producer: Wyvern Chen/ Desmond Sng/ Kazuhiro Nishimura

Production Company: Amanacliq Asia

Category: Clothing/fashion , Sports

Genre: Activation