Different Perspectives: Dream Crazy, Crazier, and Be the Best You

Consumers have many opinions about product advertising and branding, and they are not afraid to voice them. Opinions can depend on the times, trends, and moods of the population. In the U.S. today, the topics of social justice, harassment, and equality are very much top of mind for many consumers. Consequently, they may respond to advertisements in a different way today than they might have responded a few years ago.

One very timely topic that is addressed by Gillette is the harassment that started the #MeToo movement. A new ad from the company focuses on bullying and ‘toxic masculinity’ and asks consumers “Is this the best a man can get?” The ad was designed to inspire positive behavior, but has faced a backlash of negative reactions. Why?

Another company that is no stranger to controversy is Nike. A few months ago it released an advertisement narrated by Colin Kaepernick titled “Dream Crazy.” That advertisement focused on the power of social justice and dreams that drive people to achieve more. However it also generated a score of negative publicity initially for Nike. Why?

Finally, a new advertisement from Nike features Serena Williams narrating a “Dream Crazier” video focused on the achievements of women in sports, and reminding viewers that women are not crazy just because they want to achieve more than stereotypes have limited them to. This one is generating positive publicity. Why?

How can companies and brands tie into broader social messages? Should they?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the perspectives and attitudes of consumers. What are conditions or topics that impact perspectives and purchases? What are current events that influence behavior?
  2. Show the recent advertisements from Gillette: https://gillette.com/en-us/the-best-men-can-be
  3. Discuss the message of the ad. Should consumers view it negatively or positively?
  4. Next, show Nike’s ad titled “Dream Crazy” narrated by Colin Kaepernick: https://news.nike.com/featured_video/just-do-it-dream-crazy-film
  5. Discuss the message of the ad. Should consumers view it negatively or positively?
  6. Finally, show Nike’s newest advertisement narrated by Serena Williams about females in sports (“Dream Crazier”) from Nike: https://news.nike.com/featured_video/dream-crazier
  7. Discuss the message of the ad. Should consumers view it negatively or positively?
  8. Why do these ads generate such passionate responses?

Source: Ad Week, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, other news sources

 

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