Published: June 24, 2023

Nike award-winning advertising campaign uses AI and machine learning to create a match between the Serena Williams of 1999, when she won her first Grand Slam title, and the Serena who won the Australian Open in 2017.

“Never done evolving feat. Serena”, from the São Paulo, Portland and Melbourne offices of the digital agency AKQA for Nikehas received the Grand Prix in the category Digital Craft of Cannes Lions 2023. The work, which combines sport, data and artificial intelligence, has also won a Silver Lion in this same section, which celebrates creativity and technological mastery, design and user experience in digital environments.

The campaign honored the career of Serena Williams during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Nike

The campaign was part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the sportswear brand and was launched days after Serena Williams announced, in August of last year, his retirement from professional tennis, after decades at the top of the elite of this sport. In order to pay tribute to her unparalleled career, which has made her the tennis player with the most Grand Slam titles, Nike published an exhaustive study that showed the power of her game and her evolution in the time.

For this, the potential of the artificial intelligence advanced and of the machine learning to create a match between the Serena Williams of 1999, when she won her first Grand Slam title, and the Serena who won the Australian Open in 2017. The technology and data analysis to create avatars for each of the versions of the tennis player and model their corresponding style of play, taking into account aspects such as decision making, shot selection, reaction time, recovery time and agility, according to the images of archive.

watch the ad here

The result was 130,000 games and 5,000 games played between the Serena Williams of the two eras. sayings models came to life in avatar form and featured in a match broadcast on YouTube, which achieved 1.7 million viewers and a 1,082% increase in organic views compared to other Nike content. For the brand, the matches served as a step in sports analysis for a more readable data display and provide a new and accessible format for tennis experts to experience and interpret data.

The broadcast sought, on the one hand, to inspire millions of tennis fans and athletes around the world, and on the other, to remember Williams’ achievements and show his determination to never stop evolving. All the data obtained during the initiative is also being used by Nike to help other athletes improve their technique in the game, and also to optimize its design and manufacturing technology to design more competitive products and suitable for competition and sports progress.

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