Nike has never been afraid to take a stand!
The media world is still reeling over the fact that Colin Kaepernick was chosen by Nike to lead their ad campaign for the 30th year anniversary of their “Just Do It “ tagline. Unless you have slept under a bag of utter social media seclusion, since 2016 the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has sparked the wave of NFL national anthem protests against racial inequality and has been at the center of controversial backlash for it.
However, Nike as a brand has a history of taking a risk by speaking up for social issues. In 2017, the company led a powerful ad campaign which centered around EQUALITY that spoke on their beliefs and values for all people despite gender, race, religious beliefs, etc. Furthering their message of equality, the same year Nike also began selling its first ever sports hijab for Muslim athletes to wear while competing.
Why would a huge sports sponsored company such as NIKE even take the risk to speak on such crucial topics at a time where sensitivity is at an all-time high? Have they not learn from previous failed campaigns such as the horrible 2015 Bloomingdale’s Holiday Ad debacle?
From a public relations standpoint, it’s simple. They obviously researched their audience well enough to know that they would come out on top. By showing genuine care and concern for EVERYONE despite ruffling the feathers of a few who would rather burn their purchased gear showed that courage within a brand will win. The company sales has jumped 31% since the “Just Do It” campaign was released. Nike is proving that it is necessary for brand of its magnitude to speak up and stand on its values. The company has and will always connect constructively through conflict with its customers.
How necessary is it for brands to acknowledge their points on social activism ? Do you agree with major companies taking risk at such a sensitive time?