Nike gets real in ads to women

Adage yesterday pointed out Nike's new advertising, by W+K, aimed at women. The print ads (there is no TV) feature six different body parts, from shoulders to thighs, and copy that is a bit sassy.

Nancy Monsarrat, Nike's U.S. ad director, called the branding campaign an extension of the "If You Let Me Play" campaign geared toward women that Nike ran in the late 1990s -- with one exception. "In the '90s we finally got smart and said, 'Hey, let’s talk to women.' But we never talked specifically about women’s bodies, and that’s a hot topic right now."

Read on to check out the ads.

Copy: My shoulders aren't dainty or proportional to my hips. Some say they are like a man's. I say, leave men out of it. They are mine. I made them in a swimming pool then I went to yoga and made my arms.

Copy: My knees are tomboys. They get bruised and cut every time I play soccer. I'm proud of them and wear my dresses short. My mother worries I will never marry with knees like these. But I know there's someone out there who will say to me: I love you and I love your knees. I want the four of us to grow old together.

Copy: My butt is big and round like the letter C and then thousand lunges have made it rounder but not smaller. And that's just fine. It's a space heater for my side of the bed. It's my ambassador. To those who walk behind me, it's a border collie that herds skinny women away from the best deals at clothing sales. My butt is big and that's just fine. And those who might scorn it are invited to kiss it.


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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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yaksox's picture

Wow, Nice. I particularly like the shoulders one.

silver3's picture

I was up early one morning and caught Katie Couric and Donny Deutsch talking about the latest trend in "real-ness" in ads. Ala showing women with real women curves ( Dove campaign), and these with other real women things that make them uniquely beautiful.

Deutsch-bag, said these were obviously written by men and that the Campaign for Natural beauty still showcased unattainable beauty.

I say unattainable beauty is Donny with a mullet in a speedo.

Dabitch's picture

I think I've seen that photograph. ;) Didn't one of Donny's AD's email that out on the web.... ? (hehe)

NatB's picture

I especially liked the bum one lol, it just made me laugh and think of something a friend said to be when I said she had a large backside (in a nice way mind you) and we both had a good laugh that day :)

James Trickery's picture

I resemble that remark.

anna mous's picture

I too have read about how these ads are still "unattainable." But that's the thing--these models are athletes. Athleticism is attainable for anyone if you work hard hard hard. Most models are just skinny and I'm sick of being expected to be (or expecting myself to be) skinny. I want to be a strong woman physically, AND emotionally.

These women may be models but they aren't starved like the ones you see on Victoria Secret ads. As a young woman, I feel empowered. What does that have to do with athletic gear? Having a good set of running shoes help protect me from shin-splints and tendonitis. A water-bottle pouch helps me stay hydrated. A sports bra offers comfort. (to be completely honest I don't think I happen to have any nike-brand items but I do buy from similar corporations) They're allowed to sell their product. Yeah, Nike, you do it!

I believe they abuse labor laws over seas though... that's another story.

The butt one is my favorite. Where do you think I can buy one?

Alison Hanako's picture

I have mixed feelings about these ads. I think it is ironic that in serving to empower the female body, they have objectified it which I'm sure was not intentional irony...

Swimmer_627's picture

Definitely feel the pain of being mocked for "swimmer shoulders".... I've been working really hard and dropping a lot of time which makes me proud on one hand, but the bulk it adds to my shoulders is embarrassing :(

DesignEnthusiest's picture

Silver3 - these ads were actually written and designed by a female, in her early twenties, while she was interning for Nike. They were a project she just put up in her cubicle that caught her supervisor's eye and made it big. Maybe check your facts before you assume

kidsleepy's picture

I think you missed the whole point of Silver3's comment. You should probably re-read it and see if you understand it. Because it was a big set up for a joke about Donny Deutsch being an idiot. Go on, read it again, I'll wait.

Dabitch's picture

... and then after the Donny Deutsch in a speedo joke was told, James_Trickery made a comment and we all laughed because guess what his avatar shows? Like omg, the tumblr-generation is missing out on some really old jokes here.