It's not just for banner ads anymore.
Nick, Choire & co. launched Art of Speed, a weblog-formatted microsite for Nike that'll run for three weeks on Gawker.
Art of Speed runs with ideas about filmmaking and web-based marketing that got a lot of attention in the BMWFilms campaign. Through Ridley Scott's production company, BMW commissioned established directors (John Frankenheimer, John Woo, Guy Ritchie) to create short films with independent narratives, but two recurring stars: the cars, and that guy from Croupier.
After BMW, Ford, JWT and Atom Films launched Focus in Films, a series of forgettable shorts by "independent filmmakers" starring the Ford Focus. Nike's approach, to ask "15 talented young filmmakers" to make shorts on the idea of speed, follows Ford's strategy. But as Gawker's post points out, this kind of sponsor-driven programming "can be done well, or badly." I'm hoping Gawker's Art of Speed is the former.