Online revolution leads Nike to look beyond W+K

Interesting piece in this weekend’s Sunday Times about the rising share of UK ad spend that goes onto the internet. In 2006 online ad spend was just over £2billion according the IAB, up by a whopping 41%. This  accounts for 11.4% of all ad-spend, making it bigger than outdoor, radio and cinema added together (9.5%).

Evidence that the rise of the internet is impacting on how brands do marketing came from Nike’s plans to look beyond its lead agency W+K to get the expertise it needs. To quote from the Sunday Times:

"The importance of the internet…was reflected in the recent souring of the 25-year relationship between Nike and Wieden + Kennedy…Nike wants a new firm to handle some of its advertising, partly because of a lack of digital expertise at Wieden."

Gone are the days of developing a 30" TV spot, and then figuring out how to adapt it to work in other channels. Brands owners have a real need for agencies who can develop big communication ideas that work across channels. And, perish the thought, perhaps don’t even appear on TV at all.

This is the case with one of Nike’s most potent bits of Nike’s marketing mix, which is the Run London event. The bit of genius in the most recent version of this was to pit South and North Londoners against each other. So not only were you running for your own best time, you were part of a team that plays into the rivalry that exists between people who live on the North of South of the Thames. The online part of this event allows you to look at your times from the event, and then keep adding in the miles you have run after the event to keep the competition going.

Fave examples of online-led campaigns?