Nike - Bo Knows (1989) :60 (USA)

Bo Jackson, who plays two sports professionally at the same time, knows to cross-train.

This ad premiered during Major League Baseball’s 1989 All-Star Game. It features celebrity athletes watching Bo play their sports, and concluding "Bo knows basketball", "Bo knows running", etc. You'll see Bo in the background, running, lifting weights, playing basketball, and so on.

But while Bo is skating in the background, Wayne Gretsky skates up to the camera and... Fumbles his line. He was supposed to ask "Bo Knows Hockey?" but he felt something was wrong and just said "no", planning to do a retake. His "No" is perfect, however, so Pytka loved it and kept it in.

After Michael Jordan, Jim Everett, John McEnroe, marathon runner Nancy Ditz, and Kirk Gibson all paid homage to "Bo Knows (insert sport here)" we end on Bo playing guitar with legendary rock-and-roll guitarist Bo Diddley himself - and failing. So Diddley cuts him off with “Bo, you don’t know Diddley.” And that's my favorite line in this ad, being more of a music fan than a sports fan.

Bo was awarded the MVP title at the all-star game where this ad was first shown. This moment solidified his status as a household name, and popularized the phrase "Bo knows."

Client: Nike
Brand: Nike Air Trainer

Ad agency: Wieden+Kennedy
Copywriter: Jim Riswold

Production company: PYTKA
Director: Joe Pytka

Principal talent: Bo Jackson, Bo Diddley, Wayne Gretzky, Jim Everett, Kirk Gibson, John McEnroe, Nancy Ditz

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