Did You Get Played by Nike?
A proof that war is more lucrative than peace. Does anybody really want peace?
What was Nike thinking? I am not asking that question. After the fresh controversy of their new ad came out, I decide to go look at some of the previous ads that Nike had done. You know what I found out? This is purely intentional. Nike knows exactly what it was doing, what was going to happen and (I even believe they) premeditated their responses. It’s a nice story, kinda classy, but for some of us that still believe in an unbiased fair life, it’s somehow.
First, I don’t have Nike shoes. I don’t even know the name of the shoe brands I wear. I don’t really care. As long as the shoe meets the criteria I have based on what I would be using it for and the price is right, I get it. So, the burning of shoes doesn’t apply to me. As a company, I think I like Nike. Or maybe it is its success that made me like it. Compared to its competitors, I do not prefer it. Not that I prefer another brand, but I just don’t care. Now after the whole scenario, the company has given me more reasons not to prefer it. (This notion speaks of today; things may be different in the future and so it is subject to change).
There is no way to talk about this without talking about politics. First, I am not a US citizen or resident so I am not in the game of “leftist” and “rightist”. I am just a distant observer who likes to talk pragmatic sense. So, let’s take the source of the issue one after the other.
- A certain guy decides to kneel for the US anthem to protest what he doesn’t like about the actions of some government agency
Flaw: Getting attention towards what you are passionate about is good but it matters how you do it. I am in a country where things beyond the level of stuff that the guy is against are happening. I want things to change but I wouldn’t disrespect the whole country because of that.
And then, come to think of it, what has changed since his protest? Only divisions have been created
Also, if you don’t like what you see in the world, you are the one to do something about it. Not that you should start begging attention over it. Consider this; your daughter doesn’t like her chores and wants it changed. Then because of that, she begins to spit in the food everybody is going to eat. Would you consider that heroism?
I mean, there is a popular athlete in the same country who is reforming schools. If you want something done, you find the right, legal way to do it yourself
2. The guy gets fired
The popular notion was that the guy was fired for kneeling for the anthem. I don’t think that is true. Others started kneeling too and they are still playing. Plus, I think if you are really good at what you do, it doesn’t matter how crazy you are, these sports organizations will keep managing you until you commit a serious jail crime. But the way the story was twisted somehow. And then came the president who wouldn’t tolerate the disrespect (and very rightly so). No matter what the country has done that is so bad, that’s not all there is to the country. There is actually a lot to be grateful for in the US. What if he was in one of the crazy strict middle eastern countries?
Enter Nike. Seeing the prior ads of Nike I gained a notion. Interestingly, I don't think I have seen those ads before. They were kinda provocative. Not in a negative way though. It’s like this; you either love the ads or you hate it. Hardly can you be indifferent. It’s more than the use of sports stars and they give a fancy narrative to the whole thing. Some I find okay, others are plain terrible to me. The crust of it is this; what has a shoe got to do with all that?
I think I get it, it’s more than a shoe, it’s a movement. The only problem is that what they really care about is the sales. “You can set the world on fire, life goes on, you only need to be sure you cashed in the check”. Construction takes time, but destruction happens in minutes. This is the way I see the move of Nike.
Now the facts of the ad; the guy didn’t lose anything. If he did, he threw it away. He wasn’t even fired for disrespecting the country. If he couldn’t get a playing contract, it has to do with his game (that’s the way sports are). Like I said, others were doing the same thing he was and they still have their game. The idea that he lost something is very false. Instead, I think he gained something; CONTRACT WITH NIKE!! That should be worth millions. Damn, that’s a whole lot of gain. He finally got the attention he wanted and even now on a global scale. This is the question; what has he done with it or what is he going to do with it or what has really changed?
Second, what does the guy believe in? Anybody can protest what they don’t like. That is not a belief. You cannot say, I believe in apples not being green. You have to stand for red apples! What are his ideas? What are his propositions? What are his solutions? If he has such, why is it that we don’t hear them. Before you speak against what you don’t like, you must have something to replace it. At least, an idea. That is what is referred to as a belief.
Now, there is a tendency someone is reading their minds into this write-up and think I am defending the other side. No, I am not. Here is the thing; every society under heaven has a problem. There is no country in this world where there is no problem.
The world needs solutions, not protests
I studied the fact concerning the problem the guy was protesting. I was stunned at the reality. If you really care, go and do the facts check. Check the number of times police were shot at compared to the number of times police shoot at people. I am not insinuating anything, just go on a facts checking spree. Remember, these law enforcement people are human beings too.
The whole matter was already heading in a downward spiral. And then Nike just fueled the flame. I feel the ad was kind of an insult on actual people who have lived what they believed and lost everything. But, who am I to correct Nike? In the end, it’s just a craft to sell shoes. The question is:
Did you get played?
The aim was to trigger your emotions to either love or hate Nike. If you want to burn your Nike shoes, they played you. If you want to buy Nike shoes now more than ever, you too have just been played. You shouldn’t burn the shoes. If you don’t like it anymore, just give it out to someone who will appreciate a shoe; brand or no brand. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. For those who want to buy Nike shoes more, go ahead! But if you buy what you don’t need, it will become a problem for you one way or another. It’s not so bad to be emotionally attached to a product, but be sure you are expressing your desires accurately. Buying a Nike shoe will not solve the problems you care about.
I am thinking of getting a sneaker soon. I don’t have a preference but I sure don’t want a Nike. Not because I now hate it, but because I don’t want people who see me wearing a Nike to think I am standing with the behavior of the guy spearheading their ad campaign at this time.
This has created a divide. And Nike knows it. It’s a kind of war, you know? War is more profitable than peace. This is because people are so emotionally attached to a war that they don’t care how much they spend as long as they win. Even the losing side spends a lot of money. The guy who makes the money in a war is the guy developing the weapons. In this case, the political divide is the war. Nike just made their shoes the weapons. They might make a lot of money from this. And of course, might lose some goodwill. Brands use people for their campaigns all the time but this time the story is wrong and twisted to mean what it is not. I think this falls short of sound morals. But who really cares? It’s a money game.
The good takeaway from all this is the memes. I saw some very good ones. An example is the one above. The meme creators are the winners here.
I rest my case