SIGN UP

What's the music in the Nike adverts

01:00 Tue 21st May 2002 |

... is one of the most oft-repeated questions on the site in recent times, and well worth answering in the first feature of this new section of the site!

It's 'A Little Less Conversation' by Elvis Presley (or in this re-mixed form by Elvis vs JXL) and it's released as a single by BMG on June 10th.

Hold on - an Elvis re-mix
Well spotted. It's the first time that's every happened - legally (let's face it, E has been popular in discos and nightclubs for years).

Nike's advertising agency approached Elvis Presley Enterprises and got the OK. Obviously timed around the World Cup, the song and the advert are part of a three-month campaign across 60 countries that includes posters, TV and cinema advertising.

What would Elvis think of all this
Hmmm... All Shook Up

Why do this now
What better source to turn to than a Portuguese press release mangled by an automated Internet translation programme

'Elvis Presley in the pantry of the world' (begins the translation, before explaining that the)'commercial ones of the Nike will also allow that a new generation inside tries the power of the music of Elvis of the context of the soccer, the sport most popular of the world.'

Put another way, Elvis Presley Enterprises are keen to turn a new generation on to The King, and that they get their wallets out in appreciation.

August 16th marks the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death and as a consequence he will be everywhere. Six of his songs turn up in the new Disney cartoon "Lilo & Stitch". AOL, NASCAR and other prominent businesses will cross-promote Elvis.

Watch out for Official Elvis-inspired bedroom suites (I kid you not), special McDonald's Happy Meals and mobile phone accessories as well as Elvis in the 'credit card, apparel, retail, food and beverage sectors...'

I can tell you're impressed. But back to the advert...

Directed by Terry Gilliam (it's his second for Nike) there are special 30- and 60-second versions, as well as the full-length 3 minute blockbuster. It was filmed in Rome but is set in a cargo ship, where a secret competition is played, with one rule: First goal wins!

The Master of Ceremonies is Eric Cantona and in case it all flashes by too quickly the teams are:

Triple Espresso: Totti, Nakata, Henry
The Untouchables: Vieira, Scholes, Van Nistelrooy
Cerberus: Wiltord, Thuram, Davids
Toros Locos: Saviola, Luis Enrique, Ljungberg
Os Tornados: Figo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos
Funk Seoul Brothers: Denilson, Seol, Ronaldinho
Equipo del Fuego: Crespo, Lopez, Mendieta
Tutto Bene: Rosicky, Cannavaro, Ferdinand

More on the music
'A Little Less Conversation' was written by Mac Davis (who also wrote 'In the Ghetto') and Billy Strange. It comes from the soundtrack to one of Elvis' less memorable movies, "Live A Little, Love A Little" in which our hero loses both his job and his apartment, then gets another apartment, then gets another job. It didn't win any Oscars.

Also worth noting, Nike were also the first company to use a Beatles song - 'Revolution' - in an advertising campaign. (The publishing rights were held by Michael Jackson, who sanctioned this use despite protest from his good pal Paul McCartney).

The advertisement is now available to download, along with screensavers, games and more, at

Do you have a question about Adverts?