You Can’t Stop Us – Nike Commercial – A Tear Down

NOTHING CAN STOP WHAT WE CAN DO TOGETHER, reads the thumbnail on the latest Nike commercial “You can’t stop us” which went viral. Wait, this is not just viral, viral content has a tendency. Post virality the content dips and they are rarely seen again. But, this one continuously goes on and on, and at present, the views are at 50 million since it went live on July 30th 2020. 


Through this kind of fanatic activities like tear down, talking about the commercial on social media platforms etc, these numbers are only going to keep increasing for some time.


For ease of reading, I have made this tear down into 6 parts each addressing a specific part of the Nike commercial.

Part: A – The obvious one 

Part: B – The copy

Part: C – The flow

Part: D – The types of sports 

Part: E – Nike logo appearances

Part: F – The Wrap

Video version of the teardown



Part: A – The obvious one


This video is 90 seconds of sheer magnificence. 


  1. The first 5 seconds and 6 frames are shared between a swimmer on the left and a probable gymnast on the right. Their breath before they start the race sets the tone of the commercial. The seamless edit of both the athletes and their colours which is brilliantly put together conveys that sport equates everything. 

You can't stop us


And the voice-over says – We are never alone. 




  1. From 5th to 9th second unfolds 


On both the screen on left and right, we see captains leading the war cry with their respective teams. Seamlessly, the captains move from the left screen to the right. Notably, the left side is a women’s team and the right side is the men’s team. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – …and that is our strength.




  1. From 9th to 11th second, for a duration of 3 seconds and one frame, a wheelchair fencing woman athlete shifts to another chair. And the right screen shows another woman athlete who’s about to start her game taking her seat on a wheelchair. Both the athletes are heavily amputated.  



Voice over – Because when we are doubted, 




  1. From 11:13 to 14:00 – Two women athletes prepare to face their services in a tennis match. This is one brilliant edit as the athletes on both the screens moves from left to right and right to left very nicely.



Voice over – Will play as one.




  1. From 14:01 to 15:17 – 2 sets of athletes from swimming and running are merged well in one frame from the well-known side angle. The last frame in these clips is a fantastic one where the runner’s body and the swimmer’s foot merge brilliantly. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – Nothing




  1. From 15:18 to 19:13 – A specially-abled woman athlete prepares for a probable beach gymnastics on the left screen, and a gymnastic athlete indoors comes in on the right screen and does a spin. As she’s about to land, we hear cheerings in the background and upbeat music. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – When we are held back, we will go farther,




  1. From 19:14 to 20:21 – This scene is a little more than one second. Rafael Nadal hits hard on the left screen and a baseball player is on the right side. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – …and harder.




  1. From 20:22 to 22:15 – The football player on the left dribbles and is tackled by a player from the right screen. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – nothing.




  1. From 22:16 to 25:00 – The right screen shows a woman basketball player passing on the ball, and on the left screen, a man receives that pass and jumps into the pool completing the goal. Well done. 



Voice over – If we are not taken seriously, 




  1. From 25:01 to 26:19 – A little girl on the left screen skates and the scene is beautifully merged with a surfer on the right screen. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – …we will prove that wrong. 




  1. From 26:20 to 28:03 – On the left screen, you see a woman riding a horse and jumping to the right screen, which transforms into a boy landing with his cycle.

You can't stop us


Voice over – nothing.




  1. From 28:04 to 32:10 – A woman wearing a burqa rides a skateboard from the left screen and moves towards the right screen, which shows a man with rainbow colour smokes rides a skateboard and goes off the screen. 



Voice over – And if we don’t fit in this world, will change this world.




  1. From 32:11 to 34:17 – A man on the right screen throws a discus, and his movement post the throw blends with the woman on the left screen in an indoor hall who gracefully performs a ballet. 


The edit here deserves a special mention. The athlete on the right and the ballet dancer on the left syncs so well that from the first frame of this scene, the head of the ballet dancer and the body of the discus thrower is merged brilliantly. 


Voice over – nothing.




  1. From 34:18 to 37:22 – A woman falls down during a hurdle run on the left screen, and the scene merges to a woman who falls during skateboarding. The sync in this scene is done very well from left to right screen. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – nothing.




  1. From 37:23 to 40:14 – 2 screens from different sports appears as if it is a continuity from the previous scene where the athletes fell down. 


The players lying down on dirt and grieving as it rains appears as if the player is one. 


Voice over – We know things won’t always go our way.



  1. From 40:15 to 42:06 – The bottom half of the golf club and the top half of a baseball bat sync as one between the left and the right screen, and is broken into two. Pause at 41 seconds and you will know. 


Voice over – And the world’s sporting events….




  1. From 42:07 to 44:11 – A deserted indoor basketball stadium is shown on the left screen. And the right screen shows an empty tennis stadium  (a few people are possibly inspecting the stadium though). One common thing brilliantly done here is that the camera pans towards the left side on both frames which sync flawlessly. 


Voice over – are postponed or cancelled. 


(This part of the audio and the previous part is not a voice over made for this commercial. This voice is from an actual news announcement perfectly picked to announce the cancellation of sports events)




  1. From 44:12 to 46:22 – Two different deserted outdoor stadiums being disinfected by health care workers on both left and right screens. To see the brilliance of the edit, note the stadium fence line. 


Voice over – But whatever it is…




  1. From 46:23 to 49:13 – 


The left screen is an indoor tennis playing setup where a boy plays with the girl on the right screen who is playing tennis on a rooftop setup. 


Wanna see the mastery in this edit? Pause at 48:12 and look at the ball. 

You can't stop us


Voice over – …will find a way. 




  1. From 49:14 to 52:09 – Two different sets of players on a stadium take a knee to stand for what they believe in.


Voice over – I mean, things aren’t fair…




  1. From 52:10 to 55:05 – The kneeling part continues from the previous clips, this time from different teams and sports with a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt worn by the team on the right screen.


Voice over –  will come together, for change.




  1. From 55:06 to 58:14 – Two legends of their respective sport, Lebrone James on the left, and Megan Rapinoe on the right address the crowd. Carefully picked visuals and the audio delivers the content beautifully. 


Voice over copy – We have a responsibility (By Lebrone James on the left screen)


To make this world a better place (By Megan Rapinoe on the right screen) – This audio is taken from their respective speeches.


Wanna see the nice part in this edit? Pay attention to the shoulder line of both the athletes.




23. From 58:15 to 59:22 


From 59:23 to 61:22 – The cheers, the proud accomplishments of athletes are put together in this portion of the video. 


Voice over – nothing




  1. From 61:23 to 64:04


From 64:05 to 65:10 – Two men who’re down are lifted by their fellow teammates. 


Voice over – and no matter how bad it gets, 




  1. From 65:11 to 66:20 – 


From 66:21 to 68:22 


From 68:23 to 72:05- The determination, the focus, the goal, the applause, the energy, the feel, the crowd that makes a sport lively are shown here. 



Voice over – We will always come back stronger. 




  1. From 72:06 to 73:16


From 73:17 to 74:12


From 74:13 to 76:00


From 76:01 to 77:17 

You can't stop us


Voice over copy – Because nothing can stop what we can do together. 




  1. From 77:18 to 78:21


From 78:22 to 80:03


From 80:04 to 81:08


From 81:09 to 83:17 – 


The moments of standing as one, the moments of triumph, the moments of glory are shown in these scenes. 

You can't stop us


From 83:18 till 85:08 – The solidarity that exists in a team is shown here.




  1. From 85:09 till 86:10 –




From 86:11 till 89:03 – Copy overlay of US on SPORT.


From 89:04 till 89:23 – SWOOSH NIKE logo.




Part: B – The Copy


We are never alone.


and that is our strength.


Because when we are doubted, 


Will play as one.


When we are held back, we will go farther,


and harder.


If we are not taken seriously, 


we will prove that wrong. 


and if we don’t fit the sport, it will change the sport.


We know things won’t always go our way.


And the world’s sporting events 


are postponed or cancelled.


But whatever it is


we’ll find a way. 


When things aren’t fair


we’ll come together for change.


We have a responsibility to


make this world a better place.


And no matter how bad it gets, 


We will always come back stronger.


Because nothing can stop what we can do together. 



The copy is made in such a way that even if you watch a particular clip with the respective copy alone it will still make sense, in fact beautifully. For instance, go to A – 7, 9, 12, 15.



Part: C – The flow

The commercial goes through a series of emotions. 


Nervousness – Before the game begins. 


Desire – To win every game. 


Pain – When things don’t go your way in a sport.


Sorrow – After the pain.


Belief – That acts as a reason for the comeback.


Triumph – The ultimate moment!



Part: D – The types of sports.

More than 30 different sports have been shown in the video. 


It’s simple to classify sports as indoor and outdoor. In this film, they made it a point to include as many sports as possible with the recent noteworthy matters like Black Lives Matter, Women wearing Burqa in sport, and LGBT rights as part of it too.



Part: E – Nike logo appearances

A subtle thing which has been done in the video is that, picking the clips where the athlete’s costume shows Nike’s swoosh logo. Swoosh is seen 35 times, on the jersey, glove, helmet, shorts, Tee shirt, Cap, wrist band. One count per clip is taken – even if more athletes or one athlete is showing the logo often for the rest of that particular clip. 

Nike logo


There is at one place, another brand is shown noticeably is Hyundai. 





Part: F – The Wrap

Unlike any other commercial – this one was not shot for this very purpose. This one was made out of what is available already. Reportedly, the makers of the video scanned over 4000 sports events and picked 76 perfect clips and stitched them together into 38 screens for a duration of 90 seconds. 


Any sport event covered is a document of that particular sport. Generally, video recorded and or broadcasted for fans to watch, to analyse, to improve – video helps to a great extend for so many purposes. 


A brand film is made with a lot of preparation, from scripts, casts, location, technical team, pre-production to post-production and much more. 


Here, video clips from different sports events have been put together brilliantly and made as an outstanding film. 


The team behind this film at Wieden + Kennedy Agency deserves a huge round of applause from the video enthusiasts, sports fanatics, brand filmmakers, editors, creators and from the Marketing & Advertising community. 


The famous tagline “Just do it” for Nike was coined by Dan Wieden, the Co-founder of Wieden + Kennedy.

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