Nike “Agility/ Aerialism” 1992

Since I previewed these David Fincher directed spots a while back we have lost the great Attrell Cordes aka Prince Be. To me the early 90s was a golden age for hip hop with many transcendental acts, of which PM Dawn was one of the finest, and the work of Attrell and his brother Jarrett will surely live forever.

I had opined that these spots send up some of the overly-philosophical sports commentators of the time, but thinking more about it, it’s the legendary Phil Jackson, then coach of the unstoppable Chicago Bulls, whose zen approach is surely being parodied here. Scottie Pippen, superb small forward for the Bulls at that time, is featured in these spots, which as with all Nike work were produced by the ground-breaking Wieden & Kennedy of Portlandia.




Nike “Aerialism” 1992

Now that Book One of this story is done (although there will be addenda) I thought I’d give you a preview of Book Two, before putting things on hold for a while.

In 1992, against the billowing smoky backdrop of the LA riots, I met a mad mancunian genius called Michael Cook, and we started a company specializing in sound design for TV commercials. We did very well for a while, were award-winning even.

This part of my life has been preserved in the form of several boxes filled with digital betamax tapes (and one broken award), which must be dubbed and organized, and I’m going to get right on that as soon as I return from Europe, honest. In the meantime here’s a taster, courtesy of YouTube.

This spot is typical of the output of Portland ad agency Wieden and Kennedy in 1992, on behalf of their main client Nike. It does a clever job of sending up the overly philosophical waxings of some sports commentators, while at the same time operating in a cool universe of its own making. This clip was directed by none other than David Fincher.

OK readers, I’m off to revolutionize French Pop once again…see you on the other side mes braves!