Create with Air Max

Nike Japan

Issue 56 | September 2020



Creative Team

Group Creative Director Tim McDonell Associate Creative Director Daniel Busch Creatives August Ostberg, David Svedenstrom Designer Matteus Faria Copywriter Shunsuke Mori

Production Team

Senior Motion Designer Zack Chua Strategist Kasumi Mizoguchi UX designer Gabe Beck Director of Technology Steven Gutteridge Creative Technology Buboy Paguio, Chewy Wu Tech Manager Joe Jin Photography Andrew Goldie

Other Credits

Client Partner Hideaki Hara Account Director Faris Raucci Senior Project Manager Eiji Nakamura


July 2020


Air Max shoes have been a cult favourite since 1987. Every year Air Max Day is celebrated on March 26th with events around the world.

Long associated in Japan with the spirit of creativity, Nike wanted to bring sneaker lovers together virtually even if all real-world events (including the Tokyo Olympics) were cancelled.


Air Max Day 2020 was themed around sharing creativity. So, leading creators were invited to submit their stories and ideas celebrating Air Max in photography, design and writing. These were viewable digitally.

But Nike went one step further and turned the content into “Create with Air Max”, a physical colouring zine featuring interviews and shoe designs. There were also black and white illustrations of Air Max, which, when coloured, could be scanned with a smartphone to generate a 3D AR image of the shoe.

Our Thoughts

During the pandemic, creativity has been described as essential to every lockdown survival kit. Not just kids but adults have been buying or printing out sheets to colour in. So what Nike has done is to tap into a cultural meme but give it a twist. The idea starts in digital with the influencers, then moves to physical in the magazine, then back to digital with the AR experience. At its heart is a surprising innovation. A book! Yay! Distributed through Nike stores it didn’t just report on the creativity of the influencers but got fans actively expressing themselves through their own designs. As Confucius said: Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.

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