26th January 2010, 3:23pm
Lincoln duo team up with Rooney and Torres for TV ad
Creative Advertising graduates from the University of Lincoln have teamed up with world football stars Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres for a spectacular new Nike commercial.
Mike Cuthell and Phil Monks, who graduated from Lincoln in 2008, developed the concept for the latest advert for Nike's top-of-the-range T90 Laser III boot which will get its first full television screening this week.
The ad, which features the Premier League's star strikers practising their shooting skills in a futuristic setting, has already become an Internet hit after being launched on the Nike website and gravitating to YouTube.
It received a preview screening on Sky's cult Soccer AM programme and the complete 60-second television version will be aired in full on Wednesday 27 January during the crucial cup semi-final between Manchester United and Manchester City.
Mike and Phil, a creative team who have worked at several of London's top advertising agencies since graduating, say the experience of working on the ad was "an incredible learning curve".
The Nike brief landed on their desk early in their placement with prestigious agency Wieden+Kennedy, which counts Nokia, Honda and Save the Children among its other clients.
Like other creative teams, they were invited to pitch their concepts for the brief. Their pitch was picked up by a creative director who encouraged them to develop the concept further.
Mike (23), originally from Norfolk, said: "It was a long development process but we wanted to communicate the best values of the boot – that's power and accuracy. Of course there is also this ongoing debate about who is the better player, Rooney or Torres, and we wanted to add something interesting to that debate."
In less than three months, their initial concept had evolved to a stage where a set could be built, a film production team hired and dates fixed for the stars of the show, Rooney and Torres, to play their part.
Phil (22), originally from Warrington, said: "When you see the advert on TV, you can't really comprehend all the effort that goes into the process. We first arrived on the set mid-construction. To see something that we had scribbled on a piece of paper a few months earlier come to life was just amazing."
Both Mike and Phil said the skills, knowledge and – most importantly - the portfolio which they developed at Lincoln were crucial in securing them their first placements in the industry.
Mike added: "The most important thing we learned from the course was the relentless way you must approach a brief. You can't settle for your first idea, you have to explore different avenues. You get a lot of knocks in this industry, so if you can learn to take criticism on the chin during your degree, that makes you better at what you do."
Gyles Lingwood, Programme Leader for BA(Hons) Creative Advertising at the University of Lincoln, said: "It's fantastic to see two of our recent graduates working on such a high profile and prestigious project. The BA(Hons) Creative Advertising programme equips students with the skills to generate engaging and appropriate messages for a wide variety of clients and to effectively communicate them using different creative methodologies utilising all media. This is a clear indication that those skills are very much in demand in a highly competitive but hugely exciting and important industry."
To see the Nike advert, click on the video at the top of this article or visit www.nikefootball.com or www.youtube.com/nikefootball
To read more about Mike and Phil, visit their blog at: http://mikeandphil.blogspot.com