Brand: Nike Women
Link: Click Here , Click Here and Click Here
Target: Real Women
Nike follows Dove’s Real Women campaign as it gains momentum. (See our July 12th blog on the Dove campaign). This print campaign has three pool-outs, each featuring a different part of an individual woman’s anatomy which is does not fit the current ideal of beauty. The butt, shoulder and knee each have an ad, each featuring a women talking about why she loves her body.
We were critical of the Dove campaign not because of the execution (which was excellent) or the intent (commendable) but because we felt that the advertising idea (women come in all shapes and sizes) wasn’t a natural fit for skin lotion (since all of the images seem to convey body size and shape, not skin type). And because – as you’ve heard elsewhere – when a beauty company delivers the message there is still a not-so- subtle undertone of ‘you need our product to be complete’ hiding amidst the self-empowering images.
Nike works much better as a carrier for this idea. Nike products are already about empowerment. And as a brand, Nike does not discriminate between ugly and beautiful people – beautiful to Nike is a sweating runner pounding through the mud and rain. So the ‘real women’ theme is a natural fit for Nike and complements rather than reverses its existing brand strategy.
The copy for these ads is excellent, particularly well-chosen jabs at the status quo like, “My Butt is Big. And that’s just fine. And those who might scorn it are invited to kiss it.” The message may be one that Dove and others are delivering but the attitude is pure Nike. That makes these ads ownable for Nike.
We also like the way Nike has integrated the text and graphic images in this spot, with the narrative playfully bending around the woman’s knee, the line spacing jostled by the implied motion of her joints.
There is an inherent problem with a brand built on individualism becoming a quick follower of a social trend. Nike risks being seen as following Dove by developing this campaign so soon after the buzz from the Dove ‘real women’ campaign has become noticeable. Even though Nike’s execution fits the brand much better than Dove’s did, Nike still risks losing a little bit of its luster as an innovator.
The other potentially significant problem with these ads is the almost nonexistent branding for Nike. We don’t believe Nike has created something that is so unique or recognizable that it is acceptable from a brand stanpoint to bury the logo and the tagline.
Branding Bottom Line:
Nike helps women with sensible advertising. Kick it out a little more next time.