To launch Nike's Kobe X shoes in China, the brand asked amateur basketball players to test their basketball skills via a physical challenge called the "Kobe X Deadly Quickness Temple."
For ten days, agency Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai turned the city's "1933" art space (a maze-like concrete structure originally built as a slaughterhouse) into a "journey through the mind of Kobe Bryant." Players were summoned into a labyrinth via mouth of a giant snake, with monks dressed in black robes and writings from Bryant's "Art of Deadly Quickness" basketball doctrines adorning the walls.
A mysterious voice from hidden speakers guided the player through the experience to a chamber with a throne and a pair of Kobe X shoes. The voice of Bryant himself then challenged them to prove themselves in a series of five tests, each designed to highlight skills and moves needed in high-pressure basketball games. If they passed all five, they were rewarded at the end, but all participants were able to scan a QR code at the end to receive a sharable video of their performance.
650 players participated in the game, which the agency claims reached a circulation of more than 3.2 million people via posts on Weibo and WeChat. The Kobe X campaign also included billboards and banners and a mobile game -- Kobe X Deadly Quickness Test-- inspired by the games the US military uses to select pilots.