Turning an NBA meme into a work of art
When the Warriors took on the Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, there was an intimate moment where Draymond Green tapped Kevin Durant’s chest and shared some passionate words of wisdom. Twitter and the Internet turned the moment into a meme. We decided to tap into the real-time reaction to create our own social buzz and further cement Nike's place in the NBA Finals and culture.
We concepted an “immediate response” analog creative strategy for the Finals, immortalizing the meme-worthy moment with a large acrylic on canvas painting of the duo. The work of art, created by influential artist Shawn Barber, was commissioned and delivered to the players within 48 hours along with a note saying, "Second round. Same story. Flip the switch, squad." as the Warriors prepared for the Western Conference Finals.
Green and Durant loved the painting, and the Warriors shared the moment on Twitter. The meme painting got picked up by channels like SBNation, Bleacher Report, USA Today, and others, and fans across the globe gave Nike props.
We may never know exactly what Green said to Durant that night, but whatever it was helped the Warriors beat the Trail Blazers 121-109.