Nike’s newest ad is both heartwarming and empowering. It combines artful editing and a strong message — continuing Nike’s run of being more than just an athletic apparel company.
The 90 second ad is masterfully edited. It combines sports moments through connecting together clips to make them appear to be the same image. It pairs together people of different races, religions, sports, and abilities — showing how we are all united in our connection and love of sport and although we may face adversity, nothing that can stop our unity.
Yes, its s typical uplifting sports montage, but its creative editing allows it to pack a bigger punch.
“We are never alone” is the ad’s poignant opening message. With all the political rhetoric hovering in our spheres we can forget how our Covid experience has been a lonely one. From children who how have not played with friends in months because of school closures, to those working from home without social interactions with coworkers, to the elderly who have been shut away in nursing homes or even in their own homes with no visitors allowed — we have all been alone, in one way or another, more than a person should be.
That is where sports come in. People unite behind a team or an athlete and with sports shut down there has been less to unite behind. This ad reminds us that we are each our own athlete and that nothing can stop the athlete in us.
On my first watch I had chills. It evokes the emotion that comes with competition and adversity. Lebron James and Megan Rapinoe call for change in the social justice system, athletes like Colin Kapernick take a knee during the national anthem protesting police brutality and systemic racism. You see a Muslim woman united with a skateboarder holding a rainbow torch and a woman getting into her wheelchair before a race. Everyone is united in sport.
Watching it again, the message was still clear but I also remembered that another aspect of Nike is its brand whose goal is to sell a product. By attaching unity, sportsmanship and social justice to its brand, Nike creates for its customers the feeling that if you wear the product, this is what you will stand for. The ability for a brand to do this is special but also frightening. They capture us with the frills of the message without us holding them accountable for the actions they are taking on the ground, in the trenches. And thats a thought that we each need to consider.
On June 5 Nike released a statement saying that they will commit $40 million over the next four years to help the Black community in the U.S.
Take the time to enjoy the messages and images in this clip, because in it there is a truth that needs to be heard and understood by all.