How many big companies can afford to spend their entire advertising budget on a creative director simply traveling around the world and filming it for 10 days. Then just calmly, or maybe super nervously, wait for results to come in.
Well, probably not a lot. But Nike certainly can.
For Nike’s FuelBand Casey Neistat pointed out the slogan on the packaging: “Life is a Sport. Make It Count.”
Then the director and editor Max Joseph took the entire production budget and rather than make anything resembling a traditional ad, the two shot the world’s most expensive video travel journal.
“My vision for it was forget about what Nike is, forget about sneakers, forget everything; what does ‘make it count’ mean to me?” Neistat says. “And what it means to me is take a huge chance. Consequences aside, if I could do anything in the world, what would it be? Do I really want to produce another regular advertisement? No. I would take this production budget and go around the world and see all these places I want to see.”
Considering the sizable risk he took, though, one fears for what happened when they came back. After returning from their trip, the director and his editor had captured 29 hours of footage, and they had 11 days to deliver an ad with it. They also had absolutely no idea what they’d shot. There were clips of Neistat running in every city they were in, which had been planned as a connective motif, but everything else was up in the air.
Joseph was able to work quickly and find other patterns to cobble into interesting visuals, though, and the two made it work–interspersing the footage with inspirational quotes from the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Albert Einstein, and Marilyn Monroe. “The quotes represent ideas that are not mine; what I think are universal ideas about what it means to sort of make life count,” says Neistat.