Brendan Gibbons shares with Shots.net how Nike’s Failure, featuring basketball legend Michael Jordan, stands out as his favorite Nike spot from the past 60 years.
“The spot that jumps out for me is Failure from 1997. I probably reference the idea behind this ad on a weekly basis — the fact that no one missed more shots than the greatest player that ever lived. That’s an incredibly powerful thought. And it gives a boost to all of us normal people trying to exceed expectations.”
I love the simplicity of the piece. It’s just Michael walking into the arena in slow-motion while we hear his thoughts in voice over. The film has the feel of those glamorous “The Night Belongs to Michelob” ads I remember from when I was a kid, dreaming of being able to drink my way around mid-80s Manhattan at midnight — pure romance.
When I was in college, my brother gave me a book of short stories written by Jimmy Buffet. One of the stories was about a character who had some tough times, but relished the life he was leading. I don’t remember much more about him, but this line has stayed with me forever. It was, “If you decide to run the ball, just count on fumbling and getting the shit knocked out of you a lot. But never forget how much fun it is just to be able to run the ball.”
I feel those words in this ad. And that speaks to me about as loudly as anything I’ve ever heard.”
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