|Title||TEMPLE OF DEADLY QUICKNESS|
|Product / Service||KOBE X|
|Category||A05. Branded Live Experience|
|Entrant||WIEDEN+KENNEDY SHANGHAI, CHINA|
|Entrant Company||WIEDEN+KENNEDY SHANGHAI, CHINA|
|Contributing Company||WIEDEN+KENNEDY SHANGHAI, CHINA|
|Media Agency||MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA|
|Yang Yeo||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Executive Creative Director|
|Terence Leong||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Creative Director|
|Azsa West||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Creative Director|
|Jimmy Chen||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Copywriter|
|Nelson Ng||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Art Director|
|Marula Vaz||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Interaction & Experiential Art Director|
|Kevin Lunsong||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Designer|
|Johnny Zou||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Digital Designer|
|Ashley Cheung||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Creative Technologist|
|Hiro Ikematsu||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Editor|
|Bernice Wong||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Content Head|
|Arlene Lu||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Content Producer|
|Max Wu||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Senior Digital Producer|
|Vic Zhang||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Construction Producer|
|Stone Xue||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Print Producer|
|Chuck Xu||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Account Manager|
|Sasa Yang||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Account Executive|
|Bryan Tilson||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Business Director|
|Paula Bloodworth||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Senior Planner|
|Leon Lin||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Planner|
|Coral Peng||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Social Strategist|
|Nicole Bee||Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai||Project Manager|
|Diego Fuertes & Evan Cai||Space Design|
|E|D|C-Shanghai||Music and Sound Design|
|Angel Fausto||Motion Graphics Design|
|Dreamone||Interactive Development Company|
|WisPark & PinShi||Construction Company|
China is a country overwhelmed by restrictions. Advertising messages, news articles and all forms of entertainment must clear the strict guidelines set out by the government. It’s not easy to navigate the many regulations and provide something truly game changing. When it comes to experience, this is a country that relies heavily on theory to teach. In fact, books are used to teach basketball in schools. Sport is systemized and restricted to follow the path laid out by the government. To add to this, it’s hard to find clear water in a sea of overwhelming and messy advertising. It’s a model based on shouting rational benefits at mass scale vs. intimate experiences. For a brand to create a relatively small physical experience which steps outside the traditional rational and education world, is provocative and shocking. Most other sporting brands rely on traditional advertising to get their share. To invest all our money into a branded experience was uncommon, unchartered and risky.
He is the black mamba. He is Kobe. His mental toughness, strict discipline & deadly quickness have made him a basketball legend in his homeland and an even greater legend in China. Kids in China worship Kobe, they try to move like him, they want to be like him but reality is, they don’t know what it really takes to play like him. To launch the new Kobe 10 shoes, we asked kids to do more than just look like Kobe and wear his shoes, we taught them how to be deadly quick in them. Not via a lame training camp or an educational video that feels more like studying, but through a series of specialized Kobe crafted experiences designed to challenge them, teach them and test them. The campaign began with the launch of a “quickness test”. A mobile game inspired by the tests the US air force uses to measure the analytical skills, reflexes and problem-solving skills of potential pilots. But deadly quickness is more than just mental dexterity – physical quickness is essential. The mobile game was a test for an even bigger experience. Those with real potential were summoned by Kobe to his temple of deadly quickness. For 7 days, we transformed a historic art space in Shanghai into a testing ground that challenged players to a series of deadly quickness tests. In order to pass all 5 physically-demanding tests, players needed to demonstrate mastery of skills necessary to dominate the court in real game-time situations: agility, stealth-like quickness, accuracy, analytical skills, and commitment. Many fell short, but those who had the skills to pass all 5 tests earned a reward from Kobe; a handcrafted limited edition ring. Every player, whether they passed or not, was given a shareable video of their experience to show off to their friends on social media.
Before the temple of deadly quickness was opened to public, we created an arrow wrapped with invitation letter inspired by Kobe’s snake arrow symbol as well as the Chinese culture of sending challenge letters. These provocative invitation/challenge letters are sent to influencers and broadcasted on social. After the tests, every player was given a shareable video of their experience to show off to their friends on social media and create more buzz.
Within hours of launching the “deadly quickness mobile game”, the test spread like wildfire on social media. In the first 24 hours, it was played over 300,000 times but only a handful of the players had the skills to pass it. Blogs and forums immediately sprang up offering tips and tricks to beat it. Within 6 weeks, the test has been taken 1.5 million times. We intentionally kept the “Temple of Deadly Quickness” experience exclusive, special and prestigious to attract the right people to the temple. The word spread quickly; press, basketball influencers and diehard fans all flocked to the temple. Ballers came from all over China & lined up for up to 4 hours to get their chance to prove their quickness. Their experience generated huge amounts of content, countless tweets & posts on Weibo and WeChat to a collective audience of millions. The experience also earned PR and mentions in top industry and basketball blogs and websites.
Sports brands often use inspiring TV ads that tell kids to play like their heroes. That’s nothing new and doesn’t really help a kid connect to legendary players like Kobe Bryant, or experience the intensity that he faces on a daily basis. To launch Kobe’s new signature shoe, we wanted kids to literally try stepping into his shoes to experience what Kobe feels and play like he plays. In order to get into Kobe’s mindset, we needed to create a place unlike any other, a place beyond the court. We transformed a historic art space in Shanghai (and former slaughterhouse!) into a temple dedicated to Kobe’s mindset and method. Inside we built an experience designed to challenge kids to 5 demanding tests of skill and quickness, all while trying out the product. The experience was as beautiful as it was physically demanding. A stunning case of art and sport merging to create an unforgettable branded experience.