Frager Factor

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Einstein Was Wrong: The Next World War Looks To Be Over Sneakers

So what's all the fuss about?

If you watch the corresponding commercial the company released on Wednesday, it’s clear that Nike is playing it as safe as possible with its supposedly risky move. He's not advertising shoes, he's not kneeling, nor is Nike taking a position on his politics. The ad is about courage, self-esteem and human potential. It's not the one print ad you saw, it's a series of inspirational commercials that are not about him but feature both celebrities and ordinary people from all walks of life who have overcome tremendous obstacles to live their dreams. There's nothing left or right about it.

Nike has likely figured out that its core consumers -- the people who regularly buy its sneakers and clothes -- are mostly the millennials and minority youth who already support Kaepernick or at least don't mind the stance he is taking.

The ad’s overarching message is that everyone should dream big and try to be the very best athlete there ever was, even if personal or structural obstacles stand in the way. It functions as a greatest-hits reel of sports stars, including Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and LeBron James, all three of whom have come out in support of Kaepernick. 

One athlete who doesn’t appear in this collage of rapid-fire clips is Kaepernick himself. The quarterback, who hasn’t played in an NFL game since January 2017 after being blacklisted by the league, appears only as a narrator ambling down city streets in a black turtleneck and camel coat. There’s no footage of him on the field, nothing that depicts his protests or their consequences, and not a single allusion to the police brutality and racism that prompted them. The radical statement that Nike hinted at in that initial ad never gets fleshed out. The brand gets close enough to Kaepernick to draft off his stardom but stays far enough away to avoid any explicit association with his message.

The ad campaign’s connection to Kaepernick has everything to do with his fame and nothing to do with his ideology. It’s no surprise, then, that the commercial fails to make a coherent statement about belief, sacrifice, and struggle. It isn’t meant to sell a political message. It’s meant to sell shoes. 

Our service doesn’t entitle us to get offended by Kaepernick’s choices or anybody else’s.

And some of them are walking right into it, to the glee of Republicans.

The brand’s online sales jumped 31% following the campaign

50 years:  We are still talking Social Injustice. 1968 two young men look down and hold up a fist during the National anthem. 2018 athletes take a knee during the National anthem.  2 peaceful demonstrations looking to change the way we deal with people but in 2018 instead of just accepting his right. He is practically banished, loses a career, and chastised for his basic right of free speech and peaceful demonstration. Sadly. Not much seems to have changed... 50 years

Just Erase It

-The mostly positive publicity outweighs the outrage on Twitter
-Nike’s been backing controversial athletes since Prefontaine

A Veteran Comments:
"it always amazes me how people let "patriotism" blind them to reality and negatively effect their thinking.... You can love this country but still admit their are huge injustices, that quite frankly are way below where we should be ... a true patriot recognizes what makes this country great and calls us out when warranted, i come from a cop family and married into a family of veterans, i've never voted democratic, but to say there's not a problem is idiotic.... this isn't about terrorists or cop killers, it's about an undercurrent of prejudice bias that creates and tolerates an unacceptable rate of extreme and unjust treatment of colored youth.... both that reality and the reaction is based on one thing... FEAR... we should face the problem to truly make this country great, instead of spending so much time being diverted to these arguments that aren't doing anything to address the issue. It's ok to admit the problem exists, that doesn't make you a racist, or a sympathizer, if you're white."

About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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