Over the past few years, the basketball scene in China has grown to incredible levels. The main contributing factors were more courts, better training, and a changing mindset towards the game. The campaign aimed to touch and inspire a young basketball audience to take more risks, rise in their way, and bring a breath of fresh air to the game, more competitive and passionate. To these kids, basketball is a passion and a form of self-expression.
China sustained tremendous socio-economic growth has become a sports powerhouse. Basketball is one of China’s most popular sports, with many clubs and players and a very competitive structure. Besides the restrictive professional league, there’s a thriving streetball scene or jieqiu (街球): short, snappy games; no over-priced tickets and open to anyone.
For many players, though, far from China’s basketball establishment, taking risks, bravely stepping out of their “comfort zone” and overcoming self-doubt is a way to prove themselves creatively and an alternative to conventional rules.
The campaign rolled out across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets on TV, digital, social, and OOH channels.
"Newborn calves are not afraid of tigers"
We wanted to showcase how this new breed of players can inspire and make the game more exciting. For them, to create something new, one must break something old. Having this as a starting point, we developed the idea further, giving each player their voice. Our story and visual direction were all based on the same concept.
Combining the art of traditional Chinese calligraphy and vicious basketball trash talk, we achieved a remarkable and impactful result. In traditional calligraphy, the visual form, energy and motion translate the meaning and expression. The typefaces featured on each poster are handmade and intimate, representing each player’s personality, style and tonality.
Their pictures are energetic, glitchy, raw and full of movement. The campaign key visuals feature a series of fearless players filled with swagger and confidence. They “got next”, ready to take you on in a court near you.
I was thrilled to work along with the very talented team at WK Shanghai. Thanks to the incredible team: Terence Leong, Shaun Sundholm, Cook Xu, Patrick Rockwell, John Yao, Ian Toombs, Timothy Cheng, Dino Xu, Jim Zhou, Shawn Kai, Leon Lin, Carina Huang, Lucian Peng, Bill Tang, Xuan Ong, Jiji Hu, Bernice Wong, Yuan Fang, Vic Zhang, Stone Xue, Nicole Bee, Shirley Chen, Boogie, Stacy Wall.
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai
My Role: Creative concept, art direction, design
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