Monday, July 18, 2016

Da Da Ding...did Nike get it wrong or right?

Da da ding, da da ding, da ding, Wake up in the morning, coz I got goals and I won’t take no for an answer, Got the grace of a dancer, The heart of a panther..”

The lyrics of the new Nike commercial, written by the ad agency Weiden + Kennedy and Genera8ion has the song sung by the latter in collaboration with rap star Gizzle, is not only peppy but also quite inspiring. It focuses on the panther inside a sportswoman that propels her to train to the limit and perform to her best. The 2 minutes 53 seconds video directed by a French director Francois Rousselet has been garnering its share of bouquets with close to a million views just about a week after its release on YouTube. It features many Indian sportswomen, some who are popular and some representing sports that aren’t yet popular in India, like surfing.

Below is a brief about three such ladies:

Rani Rampal was the youngest player in the Indian women’s national field hockey team in 2010. She was the only 15. Hailing from a small town near Delhi she’s the only Indian to be nominated for the International Hockey Federation Women’s Young Player of the Year Award.

Jyoti Ann Burret began her soccer journey with the Indian football team in 2013. Interestingly she also has a Masters Degree in Sports and Health Science from University of Exeter, had plenty of lucrative job offers, yet chose soccer as her career.

Ishita Malaviya is India’s first professional female surfer, who is working very hard to promote India’s peninsular coastline as a surfing destination.

Why the craze about this ad?

It’s serious when an ad creates such a buzz in the internetscape. I am writing about this advert because it’s a definite feel good, it’s a commercial that propagates something genuine, implores people to worship their bodies like temple and to maybe “just do it”. In a world where Govts are trying to reduce consumption of junk food by imposing ‘fat taxes’, this ad’s concept, I found it to be rather refreshing.

There are many sportswomen in our country and I believe it’s time we started celebrating Indian women sports personalities. What with the Sanias, Sanias and Mary Koms dominating their respective areas. It’s time, in India we worshiped our women sports stars just like we do the men, we paid them as much and gave them just as much publicity.

A burgeoning sports market in India

Nike may have its agenda of tapping into the Rs. 6000 crore sports business in India, especially after Reebok’s successful foray into gym wear with a sweaty and calorie burning Kangana Ranaut playing the lead in their adverts. Overtime as women have become important customers of sportswear and sports products, companies like Nike, Puma, Adidas, Columbia, Asics are pumping money into the Indian market.

Well yes, there is Deepika Padukone in the video, but even she is seen doing her athletic stuff.
The ad is a step away from focusing just on the artificial glamorous side of the world and raises its eulogy to sportswomen. And that should leave viewers with a smile on their faces and a lovely tune in their ears which is quite humble, to say the least.

“Da da ding, da da ding, da ding…”

Ms. Monica Mor
  Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

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