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Can controversy be right for a brand?

By September 23, 2018August 8th, 2019MENA


Elie Khouri shares his lessons from Nike’s anniversary commercial for its “Just Do It” slogan

Neither Colin Kaepernick nor Nike need an introduction but their combination in the 30th anniversary celebration of the brand’s “Just Do It” slogan proved a surprise at the very least. The sense of outrage for opponents of the former 49ers player pushed them to burn or deface their Nike products and share this online. Has Nike made a mistake in including the player among the many inspiring stories of achievement? Is courting controversy the right move to grab attention?

The controversy stems for Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem in protest against police brutality and social injustice. His gesture proved as divisive as Nike’s decision to feature him. In doing so, it made a social commentary and took a position in the national debate. It took a side, an uncomfortable choice for some, a brave one for others.

Was it right to do so? Was it an authentic and meaningful position to take, one from the heart, or a calculated move, designed to appeal to Nike’s target audience, one from the head? Either way, did it work?

Our CEO, Elie Khouri, shares his views on the controversial commercial and looks at the lessons brands can learn from it. You can read the article on LinkedIn.

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