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This. is. awesome.
Nike recreated the amazing “Toga Party” scene from Animal House using famous Oregon alumni like Marcus Mariota, Dennis Dixon, Ty Burrell, etc., in a five minute advertisement that deserves all sorts of awards (Mariota’s role of Blutarsky was by far the most impressive of the group). For those of you who aren’t aware, the University of Oregon was used as the primary filming location for the 1978 classic FratFilm™.
Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the spot, which clocks in at almost five and a half minutes—thanks in large part to the extensive freeze-frame credits, another stylistic nod to the movie (and a necessary exercise for viewers who haven’t memorized the history of one college’s sports heroes).
One of the brand’s two co-founders, Phil Knight, ran at the University of Oregon. The other, Bill Bowerman, coached track and field there for 24 years (including Knight). Designer Tinker Hatfield—perfectly described in the clip as the guy who created the shoes you’re wearing—was a pole-vaulter at the school.
In other words, it’s inside baseball, but a nice way for a huge global brand to celebrate its local heritage and make itself seem more down to earth in the process. And while Animal House also happened to be largely filmed in Eugene, where the University of Oregon is located (including scenes at the school itself), the film’s pop culture clout is broad enough to draw in a wider audience beyond its cornucopia of parochial trivia.
The best part of the whole video might have been Otis Day and the Knights, who reprised their original role from the film and straight up killed it once again.
Nike released the spot on Saturday morning to coincide with Oregon’s primetime match-up with Michigan State in East Lansing. Oregon ended up losing the game 31-28, but still winning in our hearts by covering the 3.5 point spread. Thanks, Ducks!
Image via YouTube