Nike Spot Featured in DGA Retrospective


2011-06-07

Peter's iconic Nike "Revolution" spot was honored by its inclusion in the DGA's retrospective of commercial filmmaking at the Guild's "Celebration of Game-Changing in Commercial Direction" event.

With a capacity crowd in attendance, the evening opened with a 10-minute montage of clips from historically significant spots.  Following the screening, a panel of commercial directors examined and discussed the evolution of commercials and how innovations in commercials have changed the aesthetic in film and television.

Shot by Peter Kagan and his directing partner at the time, Paula Greif, Nike "Revolution" helped herald the launch of the Nike footwear brand into the TV marketplace.  The spot has long been acknowledged as representing a turning point in advertising, when avant-garde film-makers were embraced by MTV and effected the culture of advertising.  Called by some the first "anti-ad" it was highly controversial for it's use of the Beatle's "Revolution" as its soundtrack. The look was also unique as it was the first time Super 8 film had been used for a national advertising campaign.

According to Laura Belsey, curator of the montage, the spot "killed jingles and stylistically captured a turning point" in the art form.  She adds "commercials were going from being pretty and backlit to more raw in style.  It really captured the essence of that shift in graininess and aesthetic."

Regarding the criteria for its inclusion, dozens of directors were asked by the DGA what spots they thought were significant and the Nike spot came up many times - from both the panelists and other directors.

To view this historic groundbreaking spot, click here.