When I first saw the Nike Air 3D billboard in Shinjuku debut, I couldn't really find the words... other than:
— adland ® (@adland) March 22, 2022
I wasn't the only impressed as the billboard spread quickly on social media and wowed passers-by. The 3D animation begins with the recognizable red Nike shoebox, and then proceeds to show off upcoming Air Max sneakers, much to the delight of sneakerheads that are looking forward to Air Max Day. The ad will run March 21-27, as March 26 is Air Max Day.
If you look carefully at the end, you'll see a giant cat's paw drag the Nike shoebox back inside. This is the giant calico cat who "lives" there between ads. Also known as the “Shinjuku east exit cat”, the cat lives in the 3D billboard and is animated 18 hours a day, but goes to sleep at night. The cat was developed for Cross Space, the company that owns the building, to help cheer people up when Covid and lockdowns were bringing people down. “Through the cat display, we wanted to revive Shinjuku and make it brighter,” explained Takayuki Ohkawa, a spokesman for the Japanese company Unika who runs the billboard. “Shinjuku east exit cat” has now become a celebrity cat, so much so that Nike worked her into its own billboard, Nissan gave the cat her own car for Christmas.
Credits for the Nike ad, not the lovely cat, are as follows:
Director / Motion Design: Kota Iguchi
Art Director: Rei Ishii
VFX Director Kim Sangyom (2H)
Production Manager Yusuke Toh (2H)
VFX producer Tatsuro Hayashi (LUDENS)
Technical Support Akira Watanabe (LUDENS)
Music / Sound Design: DJ UPPERCUT(GROUNDRIDDIM)
Music Producer: Yuya Ozawa(GROUNDRIDDIM)
Recap Film: Yutaro Tagawa
Producer: Taro Mikami
NIKE Brand Creative
Yoshio Kato, Nanaka Sakurai, Danny Demers, Debbie Pan
Last month I had the opportunity to see this billboard in real life. Most of the animations are ten to fifteen seconds. They don't have a high creative standard in general. This Nike ad is one of the better executions, and I love that they included the cat. The cat appears between ads all day, and goes to bed at night.
That's cool. I'm glad you got to see it IRL.