Execution: Newspaper (NY Times), Online
Target: Women and Wal Street
Reviewer: David Vinjamuri
A full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times. Print only, the ad says:
Thank you, ignorance.
Thank you for starting the conversation.
Thank you for making an entire nation listen to the Rutger’s team story. And for making us wonder what other great stories we’ve missed.
Thank you for reminding us to think before we speak.
Thank you for showing us how strong and poised 18 and 20-year-old women can be.
Thank you for reminding us that another basketball tournament goes on in March.
Thank you for showing us that sport includes more than the time spent on the court.
Thank you for unintentionally moving women’s sport forward.
And thank you for making all of us realize that we still have a long way to go.
Next season starts 11.16.07.
The Nike logo is at the bottom of the page
We like this ad because it shows that Nike is not afraid to speak out on polarizing issues, and we believe that the most effective brands are advocates for their consumers. While standing opposite Don Imus in the Rutgers basketball controversy might seem like a safe play, this is a less popular opinion that it might at first appear. Nike shows the best side of the brand by reminding us that the negative (the racist and sexist comments by Mr. Imus) beget a positive (the opportunity to be surprised and impressed by the poise and maturity of his college-age female targets).
Nike also gives us a call to action (“Next season starts 11.16.07″) which ties back to its mission of promoting serious athletes. This newspaper ad is a nice reminder that Nike can mean something when it dares to stand on the edge and that Wieden is still pushing the brand forward.
The New York Times may not be the most courageous platform for this particular stand. And Nike is taking the majority position in a controversial issue. We would like to have seen a brief outdoor campaign. We understand from Advertising Age that this campaign will be pushed out to sports and teen female websites but we have not seen it yet.
Branding Bottom Line:
Nike shows signs of life. Now what to do about the Starbury?