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The Mission Creates Nike 'Vapor Trail'

The Mission pays homage to mega-star Cristiano Ronaldo in a new spot for Nike Football (Soccer).


Venice, CA -- The Mission crafts a miraculous, tornado-like homage to soccer mega star Cristiano Ronaldo in the new :60 “Vapor Trail” for Nike Football (Soccer) out of Wieden+Kennedy, Portland/Tokyo.  The spot features a soccer team and stadium of fans fighting gale-force winds and debris—both human and non-human—as Ronaldo leaves a whirlwind en route to the goal.

Shot in Madrid, Spain with Phantom cameras in early November ‘12, The Mission’s Creative Director Rob Trent and team utilized two sets for the surreal ‘diorama’ field:  both were the same size, but one was flat and the other was pitched 20º to put all the action on a decline.  The entire stage was bluescreen.

For the speed vortex; confetti, smoke, water, glass and other debris with wind were shot separately to be composited with athletes later.  Stunt men and fence pieces were flying continuously during the shoot to create the desired effect.  The platform was Astroturf, which The Mission enhanced and extended, then added the earthen cross-section.  Additional confetti and smoke were created in Maya with the ‘glitchy’ perimeter board  designed and fabricated in Flame.  

Says Trent, “Ronaldo's skill was amazing.  The coach quickly broke down the desired blocking for him and he just took the footwork to a new level when the cameras rolled. We had just watched him at his home stadium the night before against Germany and he really brought the electricity from there to our set.”

Back at The Mission’s studio in Venice, Wieden+Kennedy creatives and director Mark Zibert worked closely with the VFX team to help fine-tune the images.  In addition to VFX, The Mission also did the entire color-grade on the spot. 

“Vapor Trail” opens on a clown wig being blown through a soccer field littered with players.  The wig rolls past fans, refs and photographers all struggling to stay grounded in the squall.  Even an armored SWAT team becomes uprooted.  Then we see what, or rather, who is causing the disturbance: Ronaldo dribbling with grace and speed toward the goal.  He gives the ball a mighty kick into the net, then turns back to evaluate the now-settled clutter behind him.  The supers “Be Fast.  Be Mercurial.” glide into view, along with Nike’s new soccer cleat and their iconic logo.      

Source: The Mission