Nike Tennis Instructor vs Serena Williams

With all but four countries out of the World Football Cup, it must be time to put some focus back on the tennis at Wimbledon. Only problem is that Wimbledon have nowhere near the advertising support usually associated with an international sports tournament. The ad I’ve chosen to begin with features Serena Williams, who isn’t appearing at Wimbledon due to injury. Never mind. Nike’s 2004 spot, “Tennis Instructor”, featured a group of teenage girls surprised by their own speed as they turn into Serena Williams in front of their heart-throb tennis coach.

Girls excited to see the arrival of their tennis instructor

The spot opens with the tennis instructor driving into the tennis club in a convertible sports car. The girls, in the bathroom preparing themselves, rush to the window in excitement. On the court the blond tennis coach oversees the eager girls in the development of their game. He’s prepared for a little adulation. But he’s not prepared for the transformation of each girl into Serena Williams as she serves or returns the ball. Inevitably he gets caught in the crossfire. Apologetically the girls rush up to apologize. The tagline: “You’re faster than you think.”.


The Nike Tennis campaign was designed at Wieden+Kennedy, Portland by creative directors Hal Curtis and Mike Byrne, art director Bill Karow, copywriter Alberto Ponte, executive producer Ben Grylewicz and agency producer Andrew Loevenguth.

Director Chris Palmer at Gorgeous, London, worked with director of photography Ben Seresin.

‘Tennis Instructor’ was edited by Haines Hall at Spot Welders.

Telecine was done by colorist Stefan Sonnefeld at Company 3, Los Angeles.

Visual effects were developed by Flame artist Ben Gibbs at Sea Level, Los Angeles.

Sound was designed by Brian Emrich at Trinitite Studios.

Girls excited to see the arrival of their tennis instructor

Nike tennis instructor

He Needs Me

Music for Nike Tennis Instructor was ‘He Needs Me’, performed by Shelley Duval in the movie, Popeye, and used in the soundtrack of Punch Drunk Love.

Punch Drunk Love Soundtrack Enhanced CD at Amazon.comAnd all at once I knew
I knew at once
I knew he needed me

Until the day I die
I won’t know why
I knew he needed me

It could be fantasy, o-oh
Or maybe it’s because

He needs me he needs me
He needs me he needs me
He needs me he needs me

Dah de da da da…