Sporty, Middle-Eastern, women

I’ve never been a big fan of Nike. But yesterday I saw their new ad and I have to admit I just loved it. Sure, they are good at what they do and I shouldn’t be surprised about that – but at the same time this is actually something that could lose them some customers, and that certainly sparked some debate. You’ll understand as you watch.

The phenomenon has, of course, been talked about. Some articles keep it pretty short and neutral (this CNN one for example); some go a little more into detail as per what people’s comments have been on the issue (Huffington Post); TheDrum has the merit of mentioning the full names of a few of the incredible spostswomen featured in the ad; AlArabiyaAlArabiya adds some info to the current Saudi context on the matter;  and an official article on the Nike website gives insight on each of the sportswomen’s lives. Overall, my first Google research on this only produced positive results, with titles that focused on the ‘baldness‘ of this move and on its character of celebration, inclusion and empowerment.

And do you know what the great news is? Even my second Google research, criticism on new Nike ad, gave me some pretty excellent responses. The only negative ones referred to another Nike ad from last summer, with babies, which apparently backfired. As for the rest, keywords include

#millennials #powerful #challenge #stereotypes #daring #statement #success #culturalexpectations #pioneering #overcome #viral #overwhelminglysupportive #controversy #smashstereotypes #defy #trumphate

Real criticism only amounted, article after articles, to two comments made by random internet users- nothing terrible, either, one being clearly a personal opinion and the other a matter-of-fact statement that “this is not how things really are“. Yeah they sure aren’t for all women in the whole Middle East, and that alone, in my opinion, is exactly what makes this ad truly great; because who better than the media can inspire change by portraying what normal people cannot see or even dare to imagine in their daily lives?

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