Nike extends #betterforit campaign with scripted YouTube series

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Nike is upping the storytelling ante as part of its #betterforit women’s campaign and taking to YouTube with an eight-part scripted series. A direct bid to reach millennial women, the branded content follows two sisters involved in a bet to make more friends on the one hand, and get fit on the other.

Margot vs. Lily as it’s called, was created by Wieden & Kennedy Portland in collaboration with the team behind the indie film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

It speaks to the success being seen in long-form video content elsewhere on the web – from the very existence of Netflix down to extended plays across platforms including YouTube of course, as well as Facebook (thanks largely to that autoplay feature).

It’s on that note the brand has tapped into the notion of narrative – creating something for viewers to invest in and want to come back to. As Kerri Hoyt-Pack, VP of Nike Women’s brand marketing globally, told AdWeek: “We wanted to surprise and inspire her through story, and we knew that longer form would give us something where we could get a little richer in bringing the story to life. It’s also a format that clearly women around the world today value. Connecting to this longer-form original programming just made sense for where she is.”

In terms of the tale itself, Hoyt-Pack said the key focus was to make it relatable and therefore authentic to the audience. “[The series is] about strength and power and confidence, and I think you see that in both characters. But it’s also about vulnerability and uncertainty… As a brand, that’s something we’re really proud to showcase, to invite our consumer into that experience, to be relatable. But it’s also just an expectation of this generation today. It’s a deeper, richer meaning that obviously resonated really well with [last year’s “Better for It” ads], and it’s something we’ve just put more depth in here,” she added.

This is a branded series all the same, so expect to see Nike merchandise throughout, but it’s not a heavy sales pitch, which helps. The accompanying Nike.com/betterforit site is where that part of the campaign sits, pulling in specific Nike+ workouts from the show, as well as directing to product.

The first episode hits YouTube today, Monday February 1. You can watch the trailer above.