The unforgettable Under Armour ad featuring 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps mesmerized athletes around the world as they watched the swimmer grind away in solitude. Phelps’ ad was one of the company’s “Rule Yourself” campaign pieces, whose theme of “It’s what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light” was fittingly set against The Kills’ song ‘The Last Goodbye’.
Re-watch the arresting and haunting ad here:
As a tribute to how compelling the 90-second film is, one that’s more work of art than advertising, the film is in contention to win a Lions Award at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The Festival is an 8-day affair celebrating inspiration through branded communications.The Lions awards are ultimately determined from over 40,000 submissions in 23 categories.
Chief Creative Officer TedRoy of Droga5, the agency responsible for creating the ad, said Phelps’ production was ‘one of the most special pieces of work the agency has ever done. It was a passion project all the way through. It was one that everybody cared about.’
The ad was released in March, with Phelps in the midst of his Trials grind. Of the piece, Baltimore native Phelps said, “It really is who I am and what I do. I’m on top of every small thing. The small things end up making a big difference in the end.”
Phelps will be competing at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, which begin tomorrow, June 26th.