Nike Motherhood Ultrasound
For Black mothers-to-be (and their children) access to sport and wellness isn’t just self-care, it’s survival. Yet gaining that access is harder than ever. Nike Women came to Instrument with a singular mission—to serve mothers on the ultramarathon that is pregnancy. Together, we created a five episode series called Ultra Sound.
Amplifying the Voices of Black Mothers
In partnering with Nike we quickly established that our job was simple—amplify the voices of Black mothers (and then get out of the way). Together, we created Ultra Sound, an open and honest five-episode conversation series for Black moms-to-be. Hosted by mom and Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, each episode dove into the authentic experience of Black motherhood—its community, dreams, challenges and joy.
No Shortcuts to Community
With a focus on the brand’s evergreen goals of accessibility, acquisition and retention, we created a channel and content strategy for the series that catered to both logged on and logged off experiences and prioritized driving audience toward the full episodes that delivered the raw and real POVs. Additionally, we cast our talent based on their expertise in the subject matter—mental health, community, advocacy—that we knew was top of mind for Black moms-to-be. Our immense suite of content for the Nike app and across social channels (including the channels of the participants) was crafted to not only drive audience to the conversations, but also to build community, engagement and support along the way.
Building a Safe Space for Honest Conversation
Throughout the project, our goal was to create a world that was completely focused on the dynamic women we were featuring in the series. From naming to motion, set design to wardrobe, font selection to color palettes—it was all about keeping the Black mothers and their lived-experience front and center, everything else was just a distraction. We used colors and design elements that felt refined and elevated, like the women we were highlighting. Our manifesto served as our call to action, a powerful piece of writing that we shared and re-visited along the way, a constant reminder of the “why” that was driving this project.
Like a Talk Show Happening in Five Different Locations
Capturing the energy, humor and dynamics of our conversations was no small feat. Because most of our talent were new mothers and couldn’t travel, our team led a sprawling three-day shoot overseeing five photographers and DPs in five different locations with 11 different cast members.
Our production crew was almost 100% women and we guided set building, scripts, wardrobe and talent prep, ensuring that when the lights went up, there was a feeling of safety and comfort that allowed the real talk to flow freely. Our most critical relationship was with our incredible host, Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross. We workshopped subject matter, promos, recaps and bumpers with her in a way that gave her a framework to build off of, without losing her authentic voice.
Finding Our Audience with Far-Reaching Content
Our centerpiece was five episodes of 10-12 minutes each. Beyond that, we created a rich assortment of content for the Nike app, and both paid and organic social to serve as drivers. The content promoted the conversation series as a whole, but also invited the audience to dive into individual episodes that featured a topic or personality that piqued their interest. Nike’s maternity-focused products, services and experiences were not the focus, but we did seamlessly connect them to the content at the appropriate moments.
Turning Audience Into Advocates
In the end, this project wasn’t about selling product, gathering ‘likes’ or garnering press, it was about building trust, sharing information and giving voice to Black mothers. It was uncharted territory for Nike Women and has served as a foundation as they expand their community and tackle more diverse and challenging subject matter. The series prompted a significant increase in engagement (the ‘Maternity’ interest following grew from 67K to 156K in the Nike app) but equally important, we saw 1M+ impressions and a continued conversation unfold via the commenting.
- Channel Strategy
- Content Strategy
- Communications Strategy
- Concept Development
- Script Development
- Creative Direction
- Art Direction
- Visual Design
- Motion Design
- Brand Development
- Live Action Direction
- Motion Video Direction
- Live Action Production
- Motion Video Production
- Still Image Production
- Sound Design / Mixing