By Barry Janoff
Originally Published in MediaPost
January 5, 2017: Has actor/comedian Kevin Hart been missing in action?
According to Nike, he has been gone since October, when he got an Apple Watch Nike+ and took off for parts unknown to fulfill his destiny as "The Man Who Kept Running."
The new multi-media campaign with Hart, is the follow-up to Nike’s "Time is Precious" effort last month, which raised the question, "Are We Running?" or watching TV, taking selfies, fixating on celebrities or spending time on the Internet giving or reading opinions
"The Man Who Kept Running" transforms Hart from a well-groomed Hollywood star to a bearded desert nomad, much like Tom Hank’s Forest Gump during the time when he was obsessed with running.
In the intro spot, Hart puts on his multi-function Apple Watch Nike+ and proclaims, "Running just became a lot easier."
According to the spot, "The next day he vanished. Months, later, a film crew found him in the desert 700 miles from home."
In documentary-type style, we then follow Hart’s progress from film star to a guy who lives off the land and converses with the animals, relying on his Apple Watch Nike+ to survive.
"I’ve been living out here for months, but my spirit has been out here forever," Hart says in the lead spot. "See, running used to be hard for me, but then things changed when I woke up and started to hear this little voice in my head. asking me the same question, "Are we running today?" I started to answer that question: "YES!!"
Using his multi-functional Apple Watch Nike+, Hart fends off numerous obstacles — including heat, lack of directions and loneliness — to keep running.
On Day 75 ("Perfect Temperature") he talks about survival methods, such as cutting open a cactus to drink the water inside. And, looking at his watch, he finds the best time to run. "It’s 120 degrees now," he says, "but at 4:30 it will be 119. That’s when I strike."
Day 86 ("Fist Bump") sees Hart checking his watch for his on-going running totals and communicating with another runner. "My guy Mo just put in four miles," he says, looking at his watch and seeing a message from his friend accompanied by a fist-bump emoji. "I see you Mo. You know what I say back to you: Fist bump. Fist bump."
Then, overcome by a momentary loss of his Los Angeles life, he says, "Hollywood! I gave you a fist bump, too."
On Day 95 ("Wisdom"), the Siri-voiced watch sends a lost Hart in the right direction. "If you listen close enough you can hear the rocks speaking," he says, mishearing the origin of the voice. "These rocks are full of wisdom. I got my rocks full of wisdom, and my Apple Watch Nike+ full of GPS wisdom. I also have my wisdom teeth."
Day 97 ("Halfway Point"), he puts the GPS function to the test. "What if I head north. Then northeast. Then northeast with a little bit of south.” At which point, the watch says to him, "Halfway point," which encourages Hart to head west.
On Day 98 ("Competition"), he reveals his motivation to run. "To find Kevin Hart, I had to leave Kevin Hart. It’s not a competition with others. That’s not what it’s about. It’s a competition with me."
"These rocks are full of wisdom. I got my rocks full of wisdom, and my Apple Watch Nike+ full of GPS wisdom. I also have my wisdom teeth."
On Day 99 he sits on a rock and talks about his New Year’s Resolutions: "Working on my beard, motivate and inspire others, run every day, bigger calf muscles." His watch then chimes, reminding him to get up and run.
Lead agency is Wieden + Kennedy Portland Ore.
Apparently, Hart enjoys his time away from Hollywood as he appeared in "The Road Trip" spot with David Beckham for H&M this past September.
The Apple Watch Nike+ is a companion piece to the Apple Watch Series 2 with similar functions but added features as a the Nike+ Run Club app, perforated sport band, custom watch faces and special Siri commands that each wearer can customize.
Nike: If You're Chased By Zombies, RUN!!
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