Even after the disastrous result from their first ad campaign featuring professional kneeler Colin Kaepernick, Nike is gearing up to launch another. This one will still feature Kaepernick in a lead role but will also carry a cast of his other Kneelers-In-Arms (Legs?).
The ads, to be seen on television, online, and in print, will “take a closer look at the modern kneeling movement in sport and highlight its message of patriotism” according to Nike executives. The centrepiece of the campaign, alongside Kaepernick’s ego, is their new slogan:
Kneelers Are US. Kneelers Are USA.
Notice the “US” is capitalized, as if to suggest it represents the “USA”; as if to suggest that the Kneelers they mention represent and are part of the fabric of the USA. This, of course, is despicably wrong but Joe Barron, Nike’s Director of Marketing and Prevarication says the message is as patriotic as mom and apple pie:
“Kneeling is a call for change. Colin Kaepernick is like a leader in the American Revolution. They fought for change too. The only difference is in that war, they did it with guns. In this new war, the soldiers on those fields are fighting with their musculoskeletal system which allows them to kneel to the ground and then rise again. If you think about it, the fight of these players is much more complex than the simple trigger pulling of the Revolutionary War. It’s the difference between a whole body in motion and just an index finger.”
This approach to selling their cheap, foreign made product line is disgusting and Nike should be ashamed. Fortunately, real Americans will see it that way. This will not end well for Nike.