It doesn't get much more iconic than Nike's "Just Do It" slogan, but the brand's latest campaign is refreshingly different: Margot vs. Lily is an eight-episode web series that follows the fitness (and life) adventures of two sisters who challenge each other to some creative New Year's resolutions. Lily (played by Samantha Ware) is a perfectionist, and although her fitness YouTube series has a dedicated following, she's a bit of a loner IRL. Her sister, Margot (Bridgett Lundy), prefers to chill with friends and has a hard time seeing the point of a jog. But at the beginning of the new year, the two enter into a competition: Can Margot create her own popular fitness series before Lily learns to relate to other people enough to make three real friends? The series, which launches February 1, is part of Nike's long-running #BetterForIt campaign, which was designed to boost the apparel company's appeal among women. The Margot vs. Lily episodes follow the two women on their parallel journeys, celebrating both Lily's efforts to make human connections and Margot's (somewhat disastrous) attempt at burpees.
There are parts of Margot and Lily that we have all been at one time in our lives.
Along with the creative team of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Nike enlisted the help of seasoned TV director Tricia Brock. She was on the set of Orange Is The New Black when she got the call — and jumped at the chance to be a part of something she felt was so fresh and new. "They’re kind of whimsical," she says of the episodes, "they just make me smile." Producing an entire web series is certainly an interesting way to advertise workout gear, but what's also cool about it is that it presents a refreshingly modern view of fitness. We're so used to seeing fitness marketed to women by way of the intimidating uber-fit CrossFit girl or of course, the dreadful "sexy lady with sexy abs tells you how to lose weight" angle. But Margot vs. Lily offers another, more human and personal way to think about workout goals. The message isn't so much about gettin' jacked as it is finding the type of physical activity that speaks to you and honoring the fact we all start as beginners. Brock says that part wasn't really on her mind; she simply loved the characters. "I really responded to how intimate the material was and how much I related to it," she says. "I think there are parts of Margot and Lily that we have all been at one time in our lives."
It’s about exceeding what you expected of yourself.
And keeping the series relatable in that way proved to be the key: Neither sister is a perfect human and its only together that they learn just how wonderfully their strengths and weaknesses complement each other. "We see it every day in the athletes that we work with — whether it’s just running around the block or running your personal best in a marathon, those [victories] can be very small, but they’re very important," says Kerri Hoyt-Pack, vice president of global brand marketing for Nike Women’s Training. "It’s about growth and exceeding what you expected of yourself — and there’s something kind of beautiful and funny and interesting in that." Check out the trailer, below, to see what you think.