You be the judge: Is the "Margo vs. Lily" production a reality show, a soap opera, a Nike product commercial or pure Internet entertainment? Actually, it’s all of the above. This unusual way to reach through the clutter and find creative ways to strengthen a brand's popularity like Nike sets a high bar for how promotions will be handled in the future.
What's Margo vs. Lily all about?
Wondering what we’re talking about? It’s the exciting new “Better for it” Internet campaign series that hit the ground running on 1st February. Even the “New York Times” editors profiled this in a feature story about the two “sisters” figuring out not just who they are but the importance of staying fit.
If you have yet to start the series, there's no better time than now, but be forewarned, it's easy to get hooked because scenes can be laugh-out-loud funny.
Imagine Margot pole dancing wearing a Vikings hat or Lily busting some moves in the middle of a public park. Yet between these scenes, this subtle message is driven home: nothing could be more critical for women’s health than prioritizing fitness because every woman is “Better for it” as a result.
You may be asking yourself this question: what’s behind this groundbreaking media campaign? In a word: Women. Women who have broken gender stereotypes and boundaries to compete in Nike-sponsored half-marathons around the world; women who have participated in international Nike+ Training Club (NTC) sessions because they want to “Be Better for it.”
What better way to share this message than to weave it into a lively media production available online for any woman seeking inspiration, motivation and laughs?
Nike’s original series premiered in early February as a way to promote the upcoming Nike Women Victory Tour and spread the word that fitness is both life-sustaining and fashionable. Of course Nike would love it if you became brand loyal as a result of watching "Margot vs. Lily."
Besides, this makes a great centerpiece for Nike’s “Better for it” campaign, because each episode in the series is both a marketing message and a life lesson. Any young woman who can’t identify with these spunky millennials needs a reality check because their personalities are spot on.
If you also feel the urge to purchase Nike garments and shoes as a result of identifying with these characters, go for it. Happily, the story line is so compelling, you won’t mind being exposed to the brand’s newest fashion introductions because beneath the fun and commercial message, there are lessons to be learned about the unique friendships only women enjoy and the importance of living a life of fitness, enthusiasm and joy.
An Ingenious Production
Do the "Margot vs. Lily" spots break new media ground? Dramatically so, because the dialog is crisp, the stories are both plot- and dialog-driven and using this clever advertising strategy is an ingenious move for Nike eager to find ways separate their product from media spots that are quickly forgotten. Instead, Nike introduces the public to the girls next door with whom we really want to be friends.
Watching one episode made us hungry for more — which is exactly how the talented team that produces "Margot vs. Lily" wants all of us to feel. When last did you see an ad for a product that made you scream, “Don’t stop! I want to see more!”? This much innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum, of course.
This production is the brainchild of best-selling author Jesse Andrews and acclaimed filmmaker Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. Tricia Brock infuses episodes with nuanced direction that invites us into Lily’s and Margot’s worlds rather than making us observers of commercial messages.
Here's the trailer.
Should you watch this series? You bet. New episodes air on Mondays until the “season ender” is broadcast on 21st March. If you can’t resist binge-watching, you won’t be alone — and if, by chance, you decide to fill your closet with Nike garb as a thank you to the company offering you this much entertainment, don't fight the urge to shop. You need new running shorts anyway, right?
Would a series like this one strike a chord with the male gender? Probably not - after all, how many guys stay home just to watch the Kardashians behave badly? When the eighth episode airs, keep tissues on hand because saying goodbye won’t be easy!
Are you watching this original Nike Internet series? Would you like to see additional products and brands wrapped in compelling stories like this one more often?
The eight-part “Margot vs Lily” web series begins Monday, 1 February, at nike.com.