Calvin Johnson is a superhuman wide receiver. His dedication to the game is trumped only by his relentless focus on getting faster. With every yard gained and every shattered record comes more fame, more distractions, and more demands. The spotlight is unavoidable.
Nike Football’s new “Calvin & Johnson” campaign brings Calvin Johnson’s personality to life by creating an alter ego that shoulders the demands allowing Calvin to stay focused. The films feature Calvin Johnson as “Calvin”, juxtaposed alongside his alter ego, “Johnson” played by music and entertainment icon Sean “Diddy” Combs.
“The concept is a lot of fun because I get to play myself – tunnel-visioned, focused and handling my business while ‘Johnson’ deals with everything else,” said Calvin Johnson.
Diddy, also at the top of his own career, appropriately plays Calvin’s far-fetched “alternate personality,” taking on the role of Johnson.
“My role as Johnson is to play Calvin’s alter-ego, handling all of his distractions so that he can focus on getting faster, scoring touchdowns and winning,” said Diddy.
The first film in the series, entitled “Calvin & Johnson,” debuted Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. The second film, “Speed Unleashed,” debuts Sunday, Sept. 8. The story will continue through an integrated digital and broadcast series including additional vignettes released throughout the season. The second spot features cameos by other NFL athletes including Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
“This campaign is about removing the excess from the athlete’s mind and life so they can perform at a higher level,” said film director Stacy Wall from Imperial Woodpecker. “Calvin’s an amazing athlete but also extremely focused, and very humble. It’s easy to see why he performs at such a high level because he’s committed to what matters. This storyline brings that truth to life in a fun way.”
The creative campaign was developed in partnership with Portland-based independent advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy.