The big brands are at it again. Super bowl was the ideal time for brands to release some of their best advertising spots- spots that they spend millions of dollars on. To match up to their investment, brands spend day and night to resonate with their target audience in the best way possible. Gone are the days (at least in the US) when brands would only talk about product features. Now, their messaging is above and beyond the basic functions of product. The best brands have owned the responsibility that comes with mass advertising. They instill messages that can capitalize on the cultural constraints of the society, identify where things are going wrong and how they can be fixed. Nike’s equality campaign is an ideal example of this.
It appears that Nike has owned the theme of empowerment as its last two ad campaigns had a similar theme but different focus. “Da Da Ding” was based on women empowerment and “Unlimited You” empowered individuals to live their potential to the fullest. As a continuation of this theme, Nike lays its focus on racial equality in its recently released advertisement by name of “Equality”. This ad spot uses an excellent blend of audio and visual cues to depict its message. The voiceover by Michael Jordan begins with a bit of nostalgia as it questions whether the current state of affairs in the nation are what the land had promised. The video progresses to show a sports ground as a level playing field where you are judged by your skills, qualities and actions and not by your race, color, sexual orientation or religion. The video shows a beautiful concept as it extends the sports boundaries outside field and into the roads and other spaces occupied by us in our daily lives. This is in order to convey the message of extending equality beyond the field.
The timing of this campaign could not have been any better. It has been released during the Black History Month which celebrates the achievements of prominent African Americans in the country. Its hard to miss that the majority of spokespersons in the spot belong to this race and are the champions of the respective sports that they play. Moreover, this ad has been released during a time when minorities are fearing discrimination specially because of the political scenario. Hence, this ad spot gives a voice to many of those who have been discriminated against or fear potential discrimination. It is also a means of influencing the masses with the values of equality in an attempt of creating a positive impact.