"Just Be Better" Says Stirring Nike Ad from Melina Matsoukas to Mark Kobe Bryant's Birthday
Creative 401 Add to collection
Kendrick Lamar narrates 'Better', which was helmed by the Prettybird director, writes LBB's Addison Capper
Nike has marked what would have been Kobe Bryant's 42nd birthday - August 23rd - with a moving spot paying tribute to his legacy. LBB has been informed that the film was directed by Prettybird's Melina Matsoukas, director of Queen & Slim, with creative by Nike's long-time agency Wieden+Kennedy Portland.
Dubbed 'Better' and narrated by Kendrick Lamar, the spot focuses on Kobe's work ethic and overall commitment to improving his game. It's a stirring celebration of the universal importance of progress, with Kobe's prolific desire for improvement as its anchor.
"The Mamba Mentality is about getting better, every day, in everything we do," said a statement from Nike. "In his own words, Kobe described his Mamba Mentality by saying, 'It’s to constantly try to be the best version of yourself. It's a constant quest to try to be better today than you were yesterday.' While incremental change may feel small in the short term, those subtle shifts culminate to greater progress over time. This relentless drive for improvement is the legacy Kobe leaves."
The spot was edited by Spot Welders' Robert Duffy (a 60-second version and all social aspects were handled by his colleague JC Nuñez). It marks the launch of 'Mamba Week', an initiative also from Nike to celebrate Kobe's career and impact on the athletic industry. According to ESPN, "The 'Mamba Week' concept follows the naming of Nike's celebration of Bryant's final NBA game, the April 13, 2016, performance at Staples Center dubbed 'Mamba Day' that saw him leave the sport with a 60-point effort."
Mamba Week will involve seven days of programming and product launches, and will mark the first time that Nike has released Kobe's signature sneakers or jerseys since his death in January, when he was killed in a helicopter crash along with eight other people, including his daughter Gianna.
"Kobe taught us to be better," added Nike's statement. "A better teacher, a better teammate, a better loser, a better winner. As Kendrick says in the film, “Just be better.” Whatever it is that you’re trying to improve — work to be better today than you were yesterday. That’s the Mamba Mentality."