truth in advertising
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 9, 2010 04:15 PM
Well, this is embarrassing.
Nike advertising is just having an off year. Sure, the shoemaker is still knocking out ads on the bleeding edge. But yet again this week, a Nike ad is coming back to bite the brand in the butt. This time it's LeBron James.
A couple weeks ago, Nike released its LeBron-James-moves-to-Miami ad "Drive." In the wake of LeBron's controversial departure from Cleveland, Nike did its best to work around the tarnished star, who had gone from hometown hero to heel. So how does the ad maneuver? It's slick. It's sexy. It asks a bunch of questions.
But there was a Cleveland fan response. And: It. Is. Awesome. (below)
Nike (and LeBron) got, as the kids say, pwned.
To date, the original Nike ad from Oct. 24 boasts nearly 3.6 million views. Meanwhile, the "response," only released on Nov. 4, is already closing in on 2.9 million. Also keep in mind, Cleveland's entire population is 430,000. In fact, with the Internet being what it is, how was this kind of response not anticipated? Especially from an agency like W+K which, after the Old Spice Guy campaign, was getting slobbery wet kisses about how well it understands social media (including from itself)?
You may recall this summer, with footie fever at a high, Nike released its epic "Write the Future" ad, which boasted a huge collection of the superstars appearing in the World Cup. Except, one by one, all the stars of the commercial were eliminated, inspiring many, including us, to ask if "Write the Future" was cursed.
Add in this latest LeBron-troversy, and Phil Knight just might be licking his wounds…all the way to the bank of course, but still.