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Creative Director’s Choice: Dexton Deboree of Los York on how 'Never Finished' from Adidas affected him

Dexton Deboree of Los York has this week's Creative Director's Choice

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference. Each week, The Drum features the words of a creative director or other top creative on the work they find funny, powerful or otherwise engaging.

This week, Los York co-founder and co-chief creative officer Dexton Deboree talks about how the 'Original is Never Finished' from Adidas by Johannes Leonardo moved him, even though his agency works extensively for Nike.

As I considered the campaigns that I admired, hit me, touched me, pierced my heart and blew my mind, I kept coming back to the one that did all those things, not only for reasons I cannot fully explain, but more impressively against my desire to hate it and my resistance to being so affected by it.

When I saw the ‘Never Finished’ TV spot from Adidas (editor's note: the campaign has extended to a third spot with more sports and pop culture celebrities), my first thought was, ‘damn I wish I’d done that (though not necessarily for that brand)’.

It reminds me of the golden age of advertising when a single video could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up and your heart thump, when a single bold TV spot was all you needed to say all your brand had to say, knowing that anyone and everyone who mattered to see it would. That time when you could further deepen your fans’ loyalty and win over those anew with a single strike to the heart. And yet it felt so fresh and new that it seemed to defy tradition and break the barriers of the tired and dated model of TV-centric campaigns that today seem to ignore most of the audience, whom keep our heads and our attentions so buried in this digital reality we now call life.

It's not often we get punched in the gut by something visceral, emotive, energetically raw and powerfully unnerving and yet wholly so cool that we are attracted to emotions that might otherwise lead us to feel uncomfortable and repellent. Like a guilty pleasure or haunting addiction.

This single 90-second video simply kicked ass, cut through the shit and landed squarely in the hearts and minds of many a sneaker and “culture of cool” disciples.

Not only did the piece make me think and feel, it made me wonder if perhaps sometimes all you need is one ‘holy shit’ piece in whatever form that may be – old or new, traditional or not, platform savvy or just plain visual storytelling – that moves hearts and minds and captures the zeitgeist of a hungry and conscious culture.

So, as much as I hate to admit it, my competitors have made an impressive move to win the battle. And I’m only more inspired to push myself further to support my Portland brethren in our destiny to win the (shoe marketing) war.

Dexton Deboree is co-founder of Los York – where he serves as co-chief creative officer, co-chief executive and a director on the company’s talent roster.

View the spot by clicking the Creative Works box below.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, please visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien at

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