Nike’s new “Find Your Greatness” Ad is like nothing you’ve ever seen before

Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” is a wonderful concept for a campaign. Having each and every one of us discover our greatness, whether we stand on an Olympic swimming block or on the Tube on a Monday morning, Nike will have us believe that we all have that something special within. It’s a campaign that will motivate each and every one of us into getting up and moving, or at least that’s the plan.

Nike’s recent campaign video, “Find Your Greatness- Jogger”, however is creating a bit of controversy.  A British voice, who I believe is Jude Law, says:

“Greatness, it’s just something we made up. Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is a gift reserved for a chosen few, for prodigies, for superstars, and the rest of us can only stand by watching. You can forget that. Greatness is not some rare DNA strand. It’s not some precious thing. Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing. We’re all capable of it. All of us.”

As we are fed this wonderful message, a young boy who is overweight jogs from the distance closer into the shot in London. Ohio. His t-shirt is drenched with sweat and clings to every bit of him as he pushes through and continues to work. His face has a steely determination and while you can tell that this must not be easy for him you can also see that he has no plans on giving up anytime soon. The video ends there.  There is no after shot. We don’t see the 12-year-old boy running ahead and transforming into a medaled athlete or a super toned underwear model. It’s just us and a young boy who is working to make a change.

While I understand and appreciate the message and the beauty of the advert, I can also see how this advert could be seen in a different light. Some on youtube have commented that they feel Nike is making fun of the young boy who is overweight. Others have claimed it was exactly the inspiration they needed to kick them into gear. One viewer even made an excellent suggestion that I hope Nike is taking on board: 

Nike should expand on this ad by actually achieving greatness with this
boy Nathan. Help him lose weight, become healthy again, and then make
another video showing us the results and how he got their.

Regardless of your opinion of the ad, Nike is taking a chance on doing something they’ve never done before with this advert and it’s a magical moment that puts them out there on a limb with the general public. Will it inspire? I do hope so and I know they do too. Will I buy Nike shoes because of it? Probably not. But the message is fantastic, nonetheless. 


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