Nike Inspires Female Athletes to “Dream Crazier” in New Ad

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Nike released a new commercial during the Oscars telecast on February 24 that left viewers with goosebumps. The commercial featured the voice of Serena Williams talking about how women are often criticized for showing emotion when playing sports. Historically, women have been thought of as less than men. But in today’s society, female athletes are breaking down the long-standing societal barriers, making it clear that women are just as, if not more than, capable of doing whatever men can do.

The moving commercial depicts women of all shapes, ethnicities, and ages performing in different sports, highlighting many momentous occasions for female athletes. Some clips show women crying or arguing with referees over a call they disagree with. Other clips show a female coach yelling at her team and the U.S. women’s soccer team saluting the flag during the national anthem. Over these clips, Williams talks about how women are called “dramatic” or “hysterical” if they react strongly to something.

When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us.”

“If we want to play against men, we’re nuts,” Williams narrates. “And if we dream of equal opportunity, delusional. When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us.” 

Each triumphant moment is juxtaposed with a negative word that society has used to diminish the achievements of female athletes. Williams then introduces the word “crazy,” saying that it was crazy when women began making large strides in sports.

“A woman running a marathon was crazy,” Williams forcefully states. “A woman boxing was crazy. A woman dunking, crazy. Coaching an NBA team, crazy. A woman competing in a hijab, changing her sport, landing a double cork 1080, or winning 23 grand slams, having a baby, and then coming back for more. Crazy, crazy, crazy, and crazy.”

A woman competing in a hijab, changing her sport, landing a double cork 1080, or winning 23 grand slams, having a baby, and then coming back for more. Crazy, crazy, crazy, and crazy.

It was crazy to witness, until that particular crazy became normal and women began looking for the next “crazy” goal to achieve.

The repetition of “crazy” establishes the word as a favorite of critics to label women. But the commercial takes back the word “crazy” and redefines it. “Hysterical,” “nuts,” and “dramatic” are words traditionally used to describe women in a negative way. Nike pairs the words with video clips that highlight the achievements of women in sport to show that “crazy” is positive. The commercial exposes all of the incredible achievements of female athletes, in spite of the barriers that they have faced.

Williams ends the commercial with an incredibly inspirational message: “So if they want to call you crazy, fine. Show them what crazy can do.”

Her voice, paired with empowering images of female triumph, demonstrates how strong women can do crazy things and inspire other women to be even crazier. Watch the commercial for yourself, and hopefully it will inspire you to do something crazy.

 

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