Nike Releases Emotional COVID-Themed Ad

by Christina Marfice
Originally Published: 

Nike is bringing the feels with another inspiring, pandemic era ad

A lot of the COVID-inspired ads that pop up on our TV and computer screens are seriously groan-worthy. It’s not easy for corporations to address a global crisis in a way that feels appropriate, authentic, and not callous or money-grabbing. But the one company that’s been nailing it for months now is Nike, which, not surprising, since we regularly cried at their ads even before a global health crisis made every day feel a little bit apocalyptic.

Nike’s latest ad uses archival footage that’s been masterfully edited together, so 72 video clips become 36 side-by-side clips of pro athletes, students, and just regular, sports-loving people who appear to be melded together. The editing here is absolutely astonishing — each pair of athletes lines up perfectly so their action moves like it’s one person. Here, see what we mean:

The Nike footage shows everyday athletes melded together with sports stars like Megan Rapinoe, LeBron James, Naomi Osaka, Eliud Kipchoge, Caster Semenya, Cristiano Ronaldo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Serena Williams, Colin Kaepernick and Kylian Mbappé.

The very cool editing is accompanied by a voiceover from the one-and-only Rapinoe, who delivers the inspiring message we’ve come to expect from Nike: “We’re never alone, and that is our strength. Because when we’re doubted, we’ll play as one. When we’re held back, we’ll go farther and harder. If we’re not taken seriously, we’ll prove that wrong. And if we don’t fit the sport, we’ll change the sport.”

She adds, “When things aren’t fair, we’ll come together for change. No matter how bad it gets, we will always come back stronger. Because nothing can stop what we can do together.”

If there’s something in your eye, you’re not alone. The Nike ad perfectly addresses the moment we’re in, from the uncertainty of holding sports seasons during the pandemic, to our country’s reckoning with its deeply rooted systemic racism — and the sports stars, like Kaepernick, who have played a huge role in that movement starting in the first place.

“Players may be back on the pitch, but we are not going back to an old normal. We need to continue to reimagine this world and make it better,” Rapinoe said in a statement about the new commercial. “We have all these people in the streets, using their voices, and those voices are being heard. I ask people to be energized by this moment and not let up. I believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to advocate for change.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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