Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Weird Nike Love

I really need to unsubscribe from Nike's email list.
I got a notice today called "Nike Love" that invited me to watch three short films about love and sports--specifically youth sports. It seemed to be a "support youth sports programs" kind of message.
The first was animated and featured a desolate boy of color (tattered clothes, unkempt hair)seemingly from some non-US place. He is kicking along a can in the street, very bored. He comes across a lantern which he rubs and of course pops up the genie offering three wishes which can include anything like a car or money. But the boy wishes for a basketball which the genie gives him. The boy runs off to play with his basketball forgoing his other two wishes much to the genie's puzzlement.
The boy's race and apparent class status are unavoidable markers in this "film." It plays into the belief that the only way boys of color can get out of poverty is through sport and that it is a noble way--evidenced by the fact that the boy could have changed his present situation by just wishing for money.
The second piece is a little more innocuous. The third is bizarre. It features a pig having nightmares about being roasted on a spit or turned into bacon. The nightmare becomes a good dream when he is turned into a football and goes sailing through the goalposts. This one also makes one think footballs are made out of actual pigs. They are not--they are made of either rubber or cowhide.
One of the more obvious drawbacks in the film series is the absence of any girls who are interested in sports. Nike has done plenty of campaigns aimed at girls and women, but they just can't seem to grasp the concept of incorporating women into all their campaigns rather than keeping them completely segregated.


Diane said...

Aside from providing wrong information about how footballs are made, the film does something much worse--it asserts both that pigs like dying and becoming products, and it glorifies factory farming, the cruelest institution in our vulture. Thanks for pointing this out; I intend to pass it on to the HSUS, who collects vicious little gems like this.

Diane said...

I meant "culture," of course, but I kind of like the error.

I have sent the info on the the HSUS.