Thirty years ago, Nike taught us to Just Do It.

Last week, in their latest ad titled ‘Dream Crazier’ and featuring a voiceover by Serena Williams, Nike celebrates female athletes who have broken down barriers in sport.

In the first Just Do It ad spot in history to feature a compilation of only female athletes, Serena narrates:

“If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic, If we want to play against men, we’re nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, we’re delusional. When we stand for something we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just plain crazy.”

The female empowerment ad follows a previous Nike ad also featuring Williams that capitalised on the controversy caused by the banning of the star’s ‘catsuit’ at the French Open in 2018.

The fresh, new 90-second ad highlights several iconic moments in women’s sports and was launched during the 2019 Oscars – which saw viewership up 12% on last year.

Research has shown that consumers continue to respond positively to brands that focus on female empowerment campaigns. Man appear to be starting to view brands as societal change-makers expected to take a stand on social and political issues.

Interestingly, the new campaign was directed by Kim Gehrig, who also directed the infamous Gillette ad that took on the topic of masculine toxicity a few weeks ago.

Nike said in a press release “Nike continues to champion female athletes and change the game for women in sports as it has for more than 40 years — inspiring and enabling female athletes of all levels to achieve their potential in sport and fitness.”

Women in sports are often discredited once given the label of “crazy,” but when men show the same displays of emotion they are labeled as “passionate” or “invested in the game.”

In this new ad, Williams reclaims the word “crazy” by using it to describe winning 23 grand slams, giving birth, and returning back to the court shortly after.

In the words of Serena Williams “So if they want to call you crazy? Fine. Show them what crazy can do.”

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