Ben Affleck is a well-known American actor, filmmaker, and screenwriter who has come a long way in his career. He has achieved success through his acting and has earned multiple accolades for his filmmaking. However, there was one instance where Ben Affleck made his mark not for his work but for a decision he made that impacted a sports icon’s legacy. It was for the ‘Air’ Nike commercial in which Michael Jordan was featured.

The ‘Air’ commercial was a monumental piece of advertisement created by Wieden+Kennedy that featured Michael Jordan wearing a black and red Chicago Bulls jersey and performing a series of basketball moves that were iconic. The commercial highlighted the new Air Jordan sneakers, which were supposed to be the latest innovation in sports footwear that could help basketballers perform better. In the commercial, Jordan jumps from the free-throw line in slow motion and slam dunks the ball with ease. It was a moment that would go down in sports and advertising history, and the commercial created a sense of awe and wonder for sports enthusiasts worldwide.

However, what many people don’t know about the commercial was that it was not just a simple shoot; there were a lot of things that went on behind the scenes to create that moment, one of which was Ben Affleck’s decision to not show Michael Jordan’s face.

In a podcast interview with Bill Simmons, Ben Affleck recounted the events leading up to the shooting of the commercial. The script demanded that Michael was to look over his shoulder as he dunked the ball, but the director saw that as a cliche and wanted to do something different. The director proposed the idea of not showing Michael’s face until the end of the commercial. This would add a sense of mystery and intrigue to the commercial and would allow the audience to focus solely on the shoes and the moves. The result was a legendary commercial, but it came with a lot of debate.

In the same interview, Ben Affleck also revealed that Michael Jordan was not happy with the idea of not showing his face. He was worried that people might not recognize him or that they might forget it was him. Jordan never revealed these thoughts to Ben Affleck directly, but Affleck knew that Jordan was unhappy with the decision when he heard about it from a marketing executive. Jordan, on the other hand, would later admit that he was against the concept but also conceded that Wieden+Kennedy had a knack for coming up with unique ideas that would help him sell products to the masses.

To explain why he made the decision not to show Michael’s face, Ben Affleck revealed that it was a creative choice. He believed that omitting Jordan’s face would add an additional level of mystery and excitement to the commercial, and it did. The Air Jordan brand has now become a household name, and many credit the ‘Air’ commercial for popularizing the brand. Michael Jordan’s face became synonymous with the brand, and omitting his face in the commercial created a buzz that was unprecedented.

In conclusion, Ben Affleck’s decision to omit Michael Jordan’s face in the ‘Air’ commercial was a creative choice that paid off in the end. Although Jordan was initially worried that no one would recognize him, the commercial went on to become one of the most iconic pieces of advertising in history. It created a sense of awe and wonder that was unprecedented, and his star power only increased after the commercial was released. Although it might have been a risky move at the time, the ‘Air’ commercial helped cement the Air Jordan brand, and it still resonates with sports enthusiasts worldwide. Affleck might have made a lot of commercial missteps in his career as an actor and filmmaker, but his decision to omit Michael Jordan’s face in the ‘Air’ commercial was a stroke of genius that will always be remembered.