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Dream Crazier: Nike Commercial strikes the right chord, at par with Indian female athletes

Dream Crazier: Nike Commercial strikes the right chord, at par with Indian female athletes

Imtiaz Azad

Published: 28 Feb 2019 3:59 AM GMT
The audience at the 91st Academy Awards were up for a treat when the legendary tennis star, Serena Williams teased an inspiring Nike commercial. The most recognised global sports brand unleashed a powerful video that empowers female athletes to smash cultural barriers, fight for equal opportunities and show emotion in sporting events. The 90-second video is the freshest iteration of the sportswear giant's "Dream Crazy" campaign, which was first unveiled by iconic NFL star Colin Kaepernick last year marking the 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" tagline. The commercial draws light on the discrimination faced by female athletes for exhibiting their emotions during some of their most contentious performances. Nike takes a cogent stance in communicating its value that goes beyond race, religion and ethnicity, through the idea of females being ‘crazy’ when they dream big. While many of its commercials have highlighted the success of athletes so far, this was their first-ever project which featured an all-female cast of players. Tennis superstar Williams in her vivid description delineates the plight of female athletes and their unwavering enthusiasm to never stop because they are called ‘crazy’ for breaking the glass-ceiling and stereotypes in the world of sport. From basketball, track, boxing to fencing, the commercial features sequences of female athletes who have pushed boundaries across different sports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whpJ19RJ4JY&t=1s The commercial also sets a benchmark of ad copywriting by formulating an obstacle and presenting the solution and applying symbolism and music to amplify the hype. The 23-time grand slam winning star featured in the ad alongside trailblazing female athletes like Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon - Katherine Switzer, the US women’s national soccer team, and hijab-wearing Olympic medal-winning fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, among others.

Within a few hours of its launch, the ad crossed a million views.

The commercial comes at a ripe time that can be characterised as a period when we're seeing women are breaking barriers in the global sporting stage.

The framework is no different in India where we have witnessed female athletes rising above adversities and showcase their prowess in across diverse sports.

Despite many challenges, the country’s female athletes stole the limelight, outshining their male counterparts in several sports in recent times. Several Indian female athletes at the International stage made history and broke records.
Hima Das
has fuelled some serious Olympic-medal hopes for India with her performances as she scripted history to become the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at an IAAF event, posting a time of 51.46 seconds in 400 metres at the World Under-20 Athletics Championships. Often hailed as the deserving successor to India’s first individual woman medallist at the Olympic Games, Karnam Malleshwari, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu created history by winning gold at the World Weightlifting Championships. The marvellous Mary Kom continued to showcase her enigma as she affixed another feat to her glorious career by winning a record-equalling sixth gold at World Boxing Championship in November. She equalled the record of Cuban legend Felix Savon as the joint most successful boxer (Men or Women) in the history of World Championships. Her feat also put her on the coveted number one position in the International Boxing Association's (AIBA), the latest world rankings.
Bengal's Swapna Barman created headlines with her historic gold medal at the Asian Games. She defied all odds as she became the first-ever Indian to win a gold medal in women’s heptathlon event at the Asian Games. Manika Batra's unprecedented success in table tennis took the country by storm. She clinched four medals at the Commonwealth Games including two gold – one in women’s singles and one in women’s team, a silver in women’s doubles and a bronze in mixed doubles categories respectively. PV Sindhu, one of the two queens of Indian badminton, overcame her jinx in the finals when she beat the defending champion and World No. 5 Nozomi Okuhara to win her maiden BWF World Tour Finals title in Guangzhou, China.
Saina Nehwal, on the other hand, recovered from her knee injury and beat Sindhu in the final of Commonwealth Games to become the first-ever Indian to have two gold medals in badminton singles category at the Commonwealth Games. Last month, Nehwal also lifted her maiden Indonesian Masters title having reached the final for the second straight time. Vinesh Phogat had a near-perfect year in 2018 as she won two golds Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Vinesh, around whom India is weaving an Olympic medal dream, became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Asian Games. These talented bunch female athletes from India walked the extra mile and were ‘crazy’ enough to set hopes for the country as a precursor to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. ‘So if they want to call you crazy, fine. Show them what crazy can do' - the end narration by Serena Williams in the Nike ‘Dream Crazier’ video is also a fitting ending for this article.
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