Nike Canada has released a ad campaign, titled “Play Less Nice”, aiming to highlight that Canadians come to play regardless of the sport.
The 90-second spot, filmed in North Vancouver, features a hockey player getting out of his house early in the morning, wearing Nike gear, and setting off to the West Rink, where a match is set to take place. He doesn’t do it like anyone would expect it, but in a totally unexpected way: he waves and smiles at his neighbor, an old lady who’s thanking him for having taken out her trash, and then runs and knocks over trash, and keeps running until the destination. On his way, he jumps over the hood of a guy’s car, smashes mannequins unloaded from a truck by a worker, and performs a variety of stunts that would make viewers believe he’s a parkour practitioner. He also plays it nice by giving his Nike-branded hat to a stray dog at a crossroad, when the traffic light is red for pedestrians, and holding the entrance door of the West Rink open for one of the members of the opponent team. Later on, during the hockey game, he proves he can play less nice, knocking the same guy against a board and one of his teammates on the ice, and shooting the puck so hard that it breaks the net and gets stuck into a wall.
The commercial, soundtracked by Rossini’s overture to The Barber of Seville, ends with the hockey player showing off his mouthguard, which features the text “Play Less Nice”.