Nike And Adidas Promote Radically Inclusive Visions Of Society In Two Powerful New Ads

by MR Magazine Staff

Though bitter rivals on many counts, Nike and Adidas share at least one thing in common. In two powerful new ads, the athletic wear and sneaker companies are making it known that they value a diverse, inclusive vision of society that stands in contrast to the isolationist ideologies that have lately risen to the surface in US and European politics. During last night’s Grammy awards (Feb. 12), the German sportswear label Adidas generated buzz with a dramatic new ad, titled “Original is never finished.” Though not explicitly political, the ad, which was first unveiled on Jan. 18, offers a gorgeous, slightly menacing glimpse of a what the company called a “current dystopian future.” By using a racially diverse cast, including American and British athletes and artists such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Stormzy, and Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), the ad subtly espouses a pluralist society. That in itself feels somewhat radical, in a climate where nationalist and isolationist movements have helped Donald Trump into the US presidency and spurred the Brexit vote to sever the UK from the European Union. The American label Nike takes a more direct stance in the new campaign it debuted yesterday, titled “Equality.” In a statement, the company spoke of its “unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.” The ad suggests that if we can judge athletes equally on the field of play, regardless of their looks or beliefs, we should be able to do so off it. Read more at Quartz.