- LOS ANGELES
Nike’s “Dream Crazy”--directed by Lance Acord, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki and Christian Weber of Park Pictures for Wieden+Kennedy--won the primetime commercial Emmy on Sunday (9/1), the second and concluding night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards weekend at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“Dream Crazy” features star and not so prominent athletes striving to excel. Narrated by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the spot also touches on the controversy of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and instances of police brutality. Kaepernick was the first player to protest in this manner during NFL games, leading to his, some contend, being banished from playing professional football.
Kaepernick first appears on camera midway through the commercial. As his face is revealed, a reflection of an American flag is visible on a building facade behind him. At the start of the ad, Kaepernick says, “If people say your dreams are crazy, if they laugh at what you think you can do, good. Stay that way because what nonbelievers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult. It’s a compliment.”
He later declares, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
In a Directors Issue profile last year, director Acord shared backstory with SHOOT relative to the commercial, including what necessitated the involvement of three directors. “The whole idea came from the guys at Wieden+Kennedy. It took a lot of time to get a greenlight. A lot of consideration went into selling that script and reaching the decision to move forward with the concept in general. This amounted to a short turnaround time in terms of prepping the job and being ready to shoot. So we had to go into tag team mode. We had to hit the ground running with three different directors, producers and production teams to meet the deadline. I enjoyed the process of brainstorming with Chivo and Christian. We divided and conquered the project.”
Acord also enjoyed gaining insights into Kaepernick. “He’s a very shy, thoughtful, articulate human being. He feels an obligation to do something more than just be a famous athlete—and with that comes a degree of responsibility. I came to a more thorough and meaningful understanding of what he’s trying to do.”
The spot additionally reflects a continuation of what Acord has tried to do over the past some 20 years with Nike and Wieden+Kennedy. “I’ve done a lot of work with Alberto and Ryan (Wieden creative directors Ponte and O’Rourke) over the years,” said Acord. “We’re trying to strike a responsive chord, make an emotional human connection with an audience.”
That Wieden heritage with Nike includes varied noteworthy collaborations with Acord, including the simple yet stirring “Jogger” spot, which helped earn the director a DGA Award nomination in 2012 (one of his four career Guild nods). Also nominated for an Emmy, “Jogger” was part of Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” campaign for the Summer Olympics in London.
“Dream Crazy” becomes the fifth spot Emmy won by Wieden+Kennedy, which has been nominated 19 times for the honor over the years. It’s the first Emmy win for Park Pictures which also has a nominations pedigree that includes “Jogger.”
“Dream Crazy” topped this year’s field of Emmy-nominated commercials which also consisted of: Apple MacBook’s “Behind the Mac--Make Something Wonderful” and iPhone’s “Don’t Mess With Mother,” both out of TBWA\Media Arts Lab; Sandy Hook Promise’s “Point of View” from BBDO New York; and Netflix’s “A Great Day in Hollywood” from agency Kamp Grizzly.