Nike is airing this stirring new ad narrated by Serena Williams saluting women athletes during tonight’s Oscars. Female-centered ads are becoming a focus for many companies in the last year, and Nike is known for not shying away from taking a political stance.
Showing off the firsts, the famous athletes, the young girls starting out, and the women dominating their sports, Nike’s new ad is definitely taking advantage of the country’s recently adopted pro-female mood. As far as advertising goes, they aren’t the first to take advantage of a political stance… whatever the reason, advertising has needed a makeover and Nike is set to deliver.
The commercial is titled “Dream Crazier” and in addition to Williams features the U.S. women’s soccer team, Simone Biles, Chloe Kim, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Katherine Switzer (the first woman to run the Boston Marathon), Sam Gordon (playing football with the boys), Lisa Leslie (first woman to dunk in a WNBA game), Becky Hammon (first woman to be a full-time NBA assistant coach), and others.
Nike celebrated 30 years of their “Just Do It” slogan with an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, which sparked an alt-right protest against the company. Kaepernick’s message was, “believe in something, even if you have to sacrifice everything.” Perfectly on-brand for the company.
Nike is considered fairly diverse in its portrayal of athletes over the years, despite settling a gender discrimination scandal last year. Several women came forward after their sexual harassment cases were mishandled, and others discovered the wage gap at Nike was pretty clear. After the accusations, 11 senior members left the company and Nike was able to settle the case.
After the changeover in staff, Nike began to release more female-centered ads, like the one above. Also making headlines last year was an entire commercial dedicated to Muslim women athletes in their sports hijabs, and an ad celebrating the female sports stars from Mexico.
Even though it’s airing tonight, an excited Serena Williams posted the ad on her Twitter this morning, writing: “If they think your dreams are crazy, show them what crazy dreams can do.”
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) February 24, 2019
The ad touches on the fact that female athletes go through the same range of emotions as anyone else, and are frequently called out as “overemotional” or “too angry” for behaviors that are pretty commonplace amongst male athletes, which is important for a company like Nike to do. Williams also talked about that moment where a woman can win 23 grand slams, have a baby.. and come back for more.
So far, there’s been an overwhelming amount of support across Twitter and social media for the ad. That’s great to hear, considering there have been reports all weekend of trolls taking down the Captain Marvel movie on review sites… because they’re mad there’s one less male superhero?
Very luckily, Serena Williams (and all the ladies in the commercial) are real-life superheroes that know how to overcome adversity, and the more common that becomes on television, the better off everyone is.