15 Greatest Footwear Commercials of All Time
#1 Nike Air Jordan III: Mike & Spike 1988
Ah, 1988. Long days of playing Nintendo and staring through visible Air in shoes. One of the best years in Hip Hop and a great year for movies too. It was also the year that Spike & Mike -and of course Jim Riswold & Bill Davenport -would change the world of footwear advertising forever.
At the time, Nike was in somewhat of a transitional phase. The previous year there were rumors of MJ possibly leaving Nike for rival adidas and visible Air in shoes –while successful- was still in its infancy and seen by many as a novelty. That year however would see big change in both design and advertising at Nike as well as new milestones in MJ’s career. The Jordan III was radically different than the previous models and Jordan would continue to get closer to a championship ring. It was also the year that introduced the world to Mike & Spike
Says Dan Wieden –co-founder of Weiden + Kennedy-: “I remember the morning that Jim Riswold and Bill Davenport, our producer, burst into my office unable to catch their breath or contain their enthusiasm for this film they saw the night before.” That film? She’s Gotta Have It, written, directed by and staring none other than Spike Lee.
Davenport tried to explain, “He was, like…”
“…who left his shoes on while ______’,” shouted Riswold. “Wieden, they were Nikes! He wouldn’t take off his Nikes!”
After reaching out to Spike he would go on to agree to direct and co-star with Michael Jordan in a commercial Riswold wrote and the rest was history.
That year the stars truly aligned to have brought us not only the greatest footwear commercial of all time but a defining moment in the history of all parties involved and a glimpse into greatness unfolding before our eyes.