Monday, July 28, 2008

Nike - "That Aint Right" Ad Isn't

UPDATE: "Nike has announced that it has canceled its "That Ain't Right" campaign after it was widely criticized as homophobic by gay bloggers and advertising critics. Via ESPN, here is Nike's statement:

Nike is strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting athletes regardless of their sexual orientation. The advertisement in question is based purely upon a common insight from within the game of basketball -- the athletic feat of dunking on the opposition, and is not intended to be offensive.

However, after listening to concerns expressed around specific executions, we have decided to drop them from the campaign to underline our ongoing commitment to supporting diversity in sport and the workplace.

Nike has a strong record of support for diversity and is proud to have been honored with a 100 percent score over several consecutive years in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index.(Joe My God)

Nike has released this ad and has plastered them along with others showing athletes faces pushed into crotches in an effort to demonstrate humiliation. Other tag lines seen on ads are “Your mama won’t let you come home after this. What would she tell the neighbors?” The ad campaign was created by Wieden+Kennedy.

Tell Nike that these ads create an atmosphere of homophobia and associate gay acts with shame and embarrassment.

Nike's E-contact form - click here!

Phone: 1-503-671-6453

Nike World Headquarters
One Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR 97005


Writer said...

I sent the following to NIKE:

Your recent ad campaign involving the faces of basketballers being forced into their opponents crotches was drawn to my attention by different blogs that I read, and I would like to say I'm disgusted and insulted by the ads. From my experience of NIKE you typically seem to want to bring out the best in people (at least in athletes) yet you use, in your new ads, perceived homophobia to bring out disgust in an effort to make a quick buck. Will no one buy your shoes now without first you calling into question their masculinity? If your heterosexual clientele buy this line of bullshit, then they are boys not men.

Gay men, typically, even the ones who flounce around like women, are hundreds of times more masculine than you and your clients who feel that they have to degrade someone in order to sell product or to make themselves feel more masculine. You should be ashamed, and you can be sure that I nor anyone associated with me will ever buy your cheap-ass sweatshop shoes ever again!


The end may be a bit much and I'm not exactly sure the form sent the email to NIKE, because when I clicked continue I was sent to another page in order to start and account...

But hopefully it did send. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

That is soooo way offsides! That is just wrong! I'll go check out that site... I could not write anything more eloquent than the above comment!

Queers United said...

writer thanks so much for writing them

Quantum of Logic said...

Sorry guys, but this IS NOT homophobic.

Anyone that plays basketball knows that this has to do with being dunked on... its about showmanship and being a better ball player.

Go to Youtube and search for Greatest Dunks of All Time 1
and you will see plenty of dunks where the defenders head ends up in the guys crotch.
It is just about dominance on the court.

Overreacting to this may do more harm than good.....

Anonymous said...

Sorry, John, but you don't appear to see the contradiction in your post. "Showmanship and dominance on the court?" I have no doubt some slam dunks in basketball games include INCIDENTAL collisions similar to the one shown here (although I have yet to see one and I've watched many an NBA game.)

HOWEVER, being incidental or accidental is clearly NOT the message in this advertisement. The message is, ironically, EXACTLY what you state: dominance and showmanship, in other words, the better player is the better MAN, and anything less than dominant should bring player's masculinity into question. This being a sports ad does not and should not excuse the intent of the messages. Times without number I've read some sports team's fansite that include homophobic slurs, and of course the perennial favorite, "He plays like a girl."

Queers United said...

John - I agree that basketball is full of images is like that. It isn't so much the image that concerns me as the text that implies that male on male is somehow disgusting or wrong.

Laurie said...

I don't think that the ad was ment to
be homophobic. I just think that you
wouldn't want to get a crotch in the
face as the person whos crotch it is
just happens to be scoring on ya.

But it is good that NIKE doesn't want
to be descriminating against anybody.


Anonymous said...

It was a thoughtless ad, but not nearly as horrid as what was that other one? Snickers? H-o-r-r-i-b-l-e.

Mel Keegan said...

I think the ad (it's not running down here in Oz, thankfully) is very offensive not only to gays but pretty much to anyone.

Now, if they would just enforce the no hanging on the rim rule (the refs seemed to have forgot about it 20 years ago) then you wouldn't see this crap.

Anonymous said...

I think America might be getting a little too sensitive - I realize that people may THINK it's homophobic or rude but that's the playful lingo or "trash talk" people use on basketball courts - or just games overall. "That ain't right" applies to the fact that one player is 1. losing to the other 2. a person is dunking the ball - basically beating his competition. It is sports merchandise targeting people who participate in these sports. I doubt that most of the people complaining are avid basketball players. The ads were funny to me - so complain to Nike about their sweatshops but relax with the accusations for their supposed messages of hate.

Anonymous said...

Wow talk about overreacting, I am a straight guy and would not enjoy Candace Parker (the only woman to dunk in a college or pro game) rubbing her sweaty crotch in my face. Though I wouldn't mind it in another situation. It makes no difference the sex of the dunker or dunkee. You can find outrage and offensiveness in anything if you look hard enough.

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