ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong

Spike Lee Reprises Mars Blackmon and Directs Nike ‘Seen It All’ 50th Anniversary Video

Nike turn 50 this year and the brand has recruited long-time partner and legendary filmmaker Spike Lee to direct a new video titled ‘Seen It All’. Lee reprises his memorable Mars Blackmon character that featured in Nike’s 1980s commercials with Michael Jordan, propelling the Swoosh into global consciousness. This new clip looks back on 50 years of sporting glory, before turning attention to the next generation of Nike athletes.

‘Seen It All’ employs some of Lee’s iconic visual techniques, namely his famous ‘double dolly shot’, which gives the characters an ethereal, floating effect. Classic Mars Blackmon lines are also recalled – namely ‘Do you know?’ – serving as a solid throwback. References to other Nike athletes and nicknames, plus their similarly distinct ad campaigns are placed throughout.

Providing the flipside to Blackmon’s nostalgia is a character by the name of Zimmie, who calls out emerging and modern talent on the sporting field. This is interspersed with footage of their athletic achievements and a show of promise for a bright future, particularly for women’s sport. By the end of the clip, over 40 Nike athletes are tallied.

‘Seen It All’ is the first instalment in a collection of content Nike are unearthing from their Department of Nike Archives (DNA) that celebrates their first 50 years of history.

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