It has been around five months since Nike’s new ‘crazy’ campaign was kicked off. Back then, I tried to make my point very clear with this post. I suggested two possible scenarios which could happen:
- Crazy (?) and controversial: No matter what the politicians say/do, Nike keeping loyal to the original inclusive design of the campaign, using Kaepernick and Serena together and not backing off.
- Safe and cautious: Going only after Serena’s narrative and building a case around Women Empowerment where the tail winds are strong already.
And I was hoping that Nike would stand strong about their point of view and go with the first scenario. Because otherwise the campaign idea itself could have been crippled, if Nike as a brand itself cannot even dare to stay true to its own beliefs.
I still feel the same way.
However, I’m glad that they run the new Crazy advert (Serena’s narrative) last week. I’m glad that they chose Oscar Awards as the context as well. It is very expected nowadays to hear women making strong statements around gender norms, like Gaga did this time. Since the context was right, the ad didn’t feel opportunistic, it felt relevant -although Oscars can barely be relevant to sports. It also wasn’t a weak spin off of a stronger content, it was stronger than the previous one.
The executional details of the commercial were very well designed and engineered. It was not apologetic, not even defensive. I think this may be the best manifestation among all these Women Empowerment ads with its unifying tone of voice. It wasn’t talking only to female athletes, it wasn’t even talking only to women, it was talking to us all. Because it didn’t get its power from a man-made bias, it got its power from women’s perseverance. What it was talking about was very familiar.
Therefore it reminded me the famous Apple’s Crazy campaign, in a very good way:
So what is next, Kaepernick? Will it be crazy enough?