Bronze Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceAIR MAX
CategoryC01. Integrated Mobile Campaigns
EntrantAKQA Shanghai, CHINA
Idea Creation AKQA Shanghai, CHINA
Production AKQA Shanghai, CHINA
Additional Company AKQA Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Tim McDonell AKQA Group Creative Director
Daniel Busch AKQA Creative Director
Matteus Faria AKQA Senior Designer
Gabe Beck AKQA UX Designer
Steven Gutteridge AKQA Executive Director of Product & Design
Zack Chua AKQA Motion Designer
Andrew Goldie AKQA Photographer
Hideaki Hara AKQA Client Partner
Joe Jin AKQA Product Director
Kasumi Mizoguchi AKQA Strategist
Shunsuke Mori AKQA Brand Editor
Eiji Nakamura AKQA Senior Client Enablement Manager
August Ostberg AKQA Creative
Buboy Paguio AKQA Technical Creative Director
Faris Raucci AKQA Account Director
David Svedenstorm AKQA Creative
Chewy Wu AKQA Creative Technologist


At its core, our challenge was simple; hero a new release, and celebrate a community of sneaker lovers, inspiring both them and new owners to become involved with the launch. The restrictions resulting from the global pandemic provided another layer of challenge but ultimately served as one of the main inspirations for the idea. To launch the latest Air Max in Japan, Nike wanted to involve youth communities and celebrate their creativity with the product - at a time where consumers were mostly confined at home. Knowing that the main target was a tight-knit creative and sneakerhead community, with a special focus on young female audiences, we set out to take some seriously unprecedented circumstances and give them the opportunity to express themselves with Air Max in an unprecedented way.

Describe the creative idea

Nike’s first original AR coloring zine. An offline-to-online ‘off the page’ content experience that let users customize their own unique Air Max. In the air, in real time. The mixed reality experience lived inside a physical zine that celebrates Air Max inspired creativity, including original stories, styles and designs from local creators. We sought to tap into the revolutionary spirit of the product and bring its essence to life in different ways. The inspiration for the idea came from a desire to reimagine the customization process with the magic of Air Max, making the process even more personal, creative and fun. So we decided to bring the concept to life by turning the shoe into a blank canvas, and inviting people to design it in the air, in front of them, in their own way.

Describe the strategy

The target audience was Japan’s tight-knit creative and sneakerhead community, with a focus on young female audiences interested in sneakers, fashion and culture. The project enabled Nike to connect with consumers in a culturally relevant and meaningful way. By combining storytelling with innovation, the project brought to life an unprecedented brand experience - that invited creatives to literally visualize their creative process in the air, in real time. Four local influencers were the main creators: Aoi Ihara (Fashion model, YouTuber), Spikey John (Film director/creator), KANDYTOWN (Hip hop group), Mona (representative of No Plastic Japan). Besides them, thousands of local creators submitted their stories and styles digitally, and only a selected few made into a special chapter in the zine. The four main influencers shared their stories about creativity, and each of them created a unique design to be featured in the zine.

Describe the execution

A limited edition run of 1000 copies of the 56 page zine were printed, and distributed through different Nike stores in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka), and several Atmos stores. Today, the experience is being piloted as a stand-alone App. The project launched on July 2nd 2020, the app itself can be used for as long as the user keeps in on their phone. We went with a cute, light and ‘airy’ design, to both play into the sneaker name ‘Air-max’, and to strongly resonate with Japan’s female youth, as they were this project’s main TA. The ultimate vision is for it to be incorporated into the existing Nike ecosystem. The Project was a very exclusive pilot that delivered a unique user experience to Air Max fans around Japan. The whole project from beginning to end took roughly twelve weeks to create, and launched on July 2nd 2020.

List the results

The experience took Nike’s sneaker customization process to a whole new level of creative expression, and spread the magic of Air Max when Tokyo needed it most. We received 12,400 story submissions, for the zine, and created a completely new method for Nike to engage with their customers. Additionally, it is envisaged that this experience will be updated and ultimately live as part of the Nike ecosystem. Lastly, the work was covered across 14 different publications.


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