Mothership director David Rosenbaum teamed with Nike to create a launch spot for its new Flyknit technology and shoe collection. "Flyknit" sounds like it's knitted on the fly, and oh dear that's exactly what happens in this ad, a rather impressive post-feat starting with no feet, bare feet then flyknitting on feet. One is left with the impression that these shoes weigh nothing at all, and this jogging dude might want to consider socks.
Director David Rosenbaum of Digital Domain's advertising and entertainment production company Mothership was tapped by Nike to launch its revolutionary new Flyknit technology and shoe collection. Rosenbaum worked directly with NIke to conceive "Biomorph,” the :51-second short to mark the debut of the new shoe technology. The spot premiered at the annual 2012 Nike Innovation Summit on February 21st and is also featured on Nike’s website and YouTube channel, where it has generated almost 400,000 views. Sister company Digital Domain handled visual effects.
Nike approached Mothership with the mandate that the launch film should be performance-driven and an expression of how Flyknit shoes are knit seamlessly to form to a runner’s foot like a second skin. Based on that brief, Rosenbaum developed a thirty-page story with images and a concept to convey both the unique attributes of the shoe and how those attributes impact the running experience.
“I was inspired by the concept of body schema—a term used across disciplines to describe the way that tools work with, and become extensions of the body. That really resonated with the way their Flyknit technology is designed—becoming an extension of the runner’s foot, seamless and lightweight,” said Rosenbaum. “From there the story of the progression of a barefoot runner’s stride with threads that weave themselves around his foot to reveal the Flyknit shoe began to take shape.”
The Flyknit shoes are the first to be manufactured entirely in-house at Nike headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Rosenbaum met with Nike engineers and watched the shoes get made on customized industrial knitting machines. Nike tackled a complex runner’s challenge by creating a new material and method for making shoes; Rosenbaum worked with Digital Domain’s artists to develop a visual expression for the innovative weaving process in which these shoes are made. In addition to developing the spot concept, every aspect of the execution from storyboards to shoot, edit and effects were done in-house at Mothership and Digital Domain; Rosenbaum also commissioned the music, a custom track composed by David Wittman at Elias Music.
A very limited run of Nike Flyknit shoes was issued to coincide with the debut, however the highly-anticipated collection will be available in a wider release this summer.