Nike’s marketing team must be on an emotional rollercoaster.
Last week, the shoe company made the decision to pull a limited edition Air Max 1 sneaker decorated with an early version of the American flag after critics said the flag has become associated with slavery and white supremecists. Many consumers, and some politicians, were unimpressed.
However, on Sunday, Nike redeemed itself in the eyes of many with its Never Stop Winning ad, released moments after the U.S. Women’s National Team won its fourth World Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands. The spot includes a powerful and uplifting voiceover speech and ends with the message, "This team wins. Everyone wins."
Nike was the most mentioned brand on social media in relation to the Women's World Cup, with 51.3% share of voice in the last 30 days. Nike’s tweet with the Never Stop Winning ad on Sunday earned 323,000 shares and likes, along with 20.5 million views, according to Talkwalker.
Communications and marketing pros are largely celebrating its message on Twitter, but some are questioning whether Nike is actually doing its part in the fight for equal pay.
We don't need another emotional ad from @Nike and @WiedenKennedy about women achieving in spite of obstacles. We need them to help fight for #EqualPay.— @JulianaSpaven ?? (@magneticcurrent) July 8, 2019
Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything, right? #Justdoit#JustDoEqualPayhttps://t.co/LKydERNBAv
Nike is a paradoxical brand of late.— Jonathan Mildenhall (@Mildenhall) July 7, 2019
Often getting it grotesquely wrong.
Sometimes getting it brilliantly right.
‘I Believe’ in everything this call to rise has to say. It is primal, it is compelling, it is necessary, IT IS NOW.
Congrats #USWNT! https://t.co/6RvlJUfqCR
Yes, I just cried at a Nike ad. Totally normal, right?— Christina Reynolds (@creynoldsnc) July 7, 2019