NIKE PROJECT MERCURY AEROBLADE TAPE: A TOP-SECRET INNOVATION FOR SPEED

Nike’s nonstop pursuit of more speed led them to a curious innovation: adhesive, shark fin-patterned tape that disrupts airflow—similar to how the dimples of a golf ball increase its velocity. The top-secret tech, code-named Project Mercury, needed a brand, a package and a compelling way to tell its story in a rush timeline before the summer Olympics in Rio.

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First hurdle: design. The brand identity drafted out of the product design—a simple, contemporary design to convey speed, innovation and forward thinking. 

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Second hurdle: presentation. We created a tool kit to help Nike introduce this new technology to Olympic-hopeful Nike athletes and their trainers. The science and test times proved that the tape works, but athletes are under a strict training program and can be slow to introduce change. The kit conveyed a simple but very compelling story: this tape makes you faster.

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Home stretch: packaging. Multi-lingual meets multi-body part to make a multi-confusing proposition. The outcome was simple but the product, like anything new and scientific, could be hard to understand. We needed to simplify the why, the where, the how and the who of Project Mercury. Think IKEA instructions—only awesome and tuned for Olympians..

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