Early in June, Nike released its empowering advertisement ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 hosted in France. The ad features the biggest names of the tournament, including Sam Kerr, an Australian association football player, and Andressa Alves, a Brazilian footballer. The young star of the given commercial is Makena Cooke, a 10-year-old Californian soccer player who is taking a breathtaking tour with her idols.
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This cultural artifact claims that football is a game enjoyed by people of all races, including African-Americans, Whites, and Spanish who appear to be either playing the game or cheering for a team. It is also clear that the ad considers that women’s football is popular among both males and females, as many men are cheering for women’s teams. Also, it can be seen that the commercial claims that women have almost unrestrained power, which is illustrated by Alex Scott holding a position on the Barcelona men’s team. Since people of a great number of nationalities are shown (Americans, Brazilians, Hungarians, French), one may note that football is viewed as a game that unites fans from all over the world.
The ad has a creative hook and is dynamic due to its rapid pace, bright colors of all the objects in a video, and Joan Jett’s soundtrack. The commercial is meant to be viral and strike emotions in its viewers by focusing on supreme women and a little girl following her dream. As in the case with other Nike’s ads, the high energy of the campaign makes the commercial emotionally polarizing (Intravia et al. 2). Importantly to notice, all the football players that appear in the ad wear Nike uniforms.
It is possible to state that the commercial persuades its viewers to think, act, and believe in specific ways. Firstly, this cultural artifact was designed around the idea of celebrating the beginning of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, so it is aimed at promoting interest in women’s football. By showing the whole spectrum of emotions that football fans experience when watching a game, the ad states that football is a cool sport, so it is worth watching and playing it.
Secondly, Nike’s commercial openly urges, “Don’t change your dream – change the world”. On the one hand, one could think that the ad encourages people to follow their dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem to be. Thus, the advertisement promotes the sense of purpose and belief that even the weirdest and wildest dreams may come true. On the other hand, though, the ad openly proclaims the philosophy of narcissism by stating that everyone is perfect the way he or she is, and the only one that may be problematic is the world. When one has unrealistic expectations, it is the world that needs to be changed.
The fact that all football players wear Nike clothes unobtrusively advertises the brand and implies that it is easier to follow one’s dreams wearing a Nike t-shirt. Using the strategy of “ambush marketing”, the cultural artifact unambiguously encourages people to buy Nike production to feel more confident (Duong and Zeller 15). The purpose of the object to attract new buyers and spread football vibes has been fulfilled by its persuasive stance (Kobayashi et al. 129). The potential impact of the artifact is an increase in both Nike’s sales and the number of viewers of the FIFA World Cup. The principles behind the ad can be hardly considered as valid as the only true aim of it was to endorse Nike products and improve the brand’s competitiveness (Araujo et al. 109). This reiterates the statement that the company grew through celebrities using its products (Sanders et al. 45). The use of football stars in the campaign only adds to the creation of a desirable brand identity (Kornum et al. 433). Therefore, the given cultural artifact is a good example of how a brand uses pathos and ethos to attract new customers.
Araujo, Dan, et al. “Nike’s Utilization of Brand Strategy to Increase Global Competitiveness.” Competition Forum, vol. 16, no. 1, 2018, pp. 109-115.
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Duong, Jacky, and Frauke Zeller. “Tracking the Imagined Audience: A Case Study on Nike’s Use of Twitter for B2C Interaction.” First Monday, vol. 22, no. 5, 2017, pp. 14–27.
Intravia, Jonathan, et al. “Just Do It? An Examination of Race on Attitudes Associated with Nike’s Advertisement Featuring Colin Kaepernick.” Deviant Behavior, vol. 5, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1–11.
Kobayashi, Koji, et al. “Multiple Dimensions of Mediation Within Transnational Advertising Production: Cultural Intermediaries as Shapers of Emerging Cultural Capital.” Consumption Markets & Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, 2017, pp. 129–146.
Kornum, Niels, et al. “Interplay Between Intended Brand Identity and Identities in a Nike Related Brand Community: Co-Existing Synergies and Tensions in a Nested System.” Journal of Business Research, vol. 70, 2017, pp. 432–440.
Sanders, Walter, et al. “Native Advertising: An Evaluation of Nike’s N7 Social Media Campaign.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, vol. 41, no. 2, 2017, pp. 43–63.