Topic: Sports

Last updated: October 21, 2019

The displayed ad pertains to a 2009 running campaign Nikeplus made and hosted to kickstart their yearly Men Vs.

Women challenge. It is inarguably clear that Nike, an organisation most famously known for their sports attire and shoes, does not only target runners in their advertisement as they aspire to appeal to a much wider audience through their inclusion of numerous celebrities that partake in distinct sports (such is Sofia Boutella, the woman in pink, who is a dancer, Zlatan, a known football player and Roger Federer, a tennis player) in addition to several obscure, normal individuals the viewer can relate to. Moreover, the ad does not focus on men or women only as it is subject to both genders of most age groups excluding young children as the campaign does not showcase anyone under 18 years old. It is apparent that Nike’s ad does not intend to shine light on gender equality or call for action to change things but rather embraces gender difference and division. This is evident from the beginning of the campaign as men are associated with the color blue (like they have always been) and women with the color pink. The advertisement serves to create a competitive playground through which the opposite sexes battle for dominance (in this case, being better and more determined runners) and the belief that one is more superior than the other.

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This sense of competitiveness is portrayed many times throughout the ad including the two women that dismantle a guy’s earphones to stop him from running, preventing a guy from saluting a passing woman, Zlatan’s mockery of a woman he runs past, and specifically at (1:21) when the runners (one male and the other female) push each other aside as they near the finish line. Furthermore, the individuals in the ad seem to help and support their own sex against the opposing ‘team’ in this race for domination and power as seen when a woman throws the running shoes of her partner and lies about it, the two men that high five each other, the male servant handing a woman customer’s glass of water to a passing male runner, and Fernando Torres’s (another football celebrity) refusal to accept the water a woman who ran next to him offered.


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