- Nike debuted a new campaign, "Dream Crazier," during the Oscars on Feb. 24. Narrated by tennis star Serena Williams, the 90-second spot showcases female athletes who are working to break barriers, the company announced.
- The campaign is a continuation of the 2018 "Dream Crazy" push that celebrated the 30th anniversary of the brand's iconic "Just Do It" messaging and featured former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, according to a Well + Good report.
- The spot highlights several iconic moments in women's sports. It stars Williams, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, snowboarder Chloe Kim and members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.
Nike is drawing out its mission-driven creative by celebrating female athletes and highlighting some of the challenges they face. "Dream Crazier" is the beginning of the brand's celebration of women in sports leading up to the FIFA Women's World Cup in France this summer. Tapping Serena Williams to star in and narrate the spot will likely earn the campaign extra buzz among her large social network and help the brand better engage with key consumers, as Williams has historically been a strong advocate for women and is one of the most well-known figures in sports.
A previous Nike campaign with Williams capitalized on controversy over the French Open banning the catsuit she wore to the even in 2018. That video scored nearly 5 million views on YouTube and more than 10 million on Twitter. The new "Dream Crazier" spot has already notched nearly 6 million views on YouTube and 28.4 million on Twitter as of press time.
Launching the campaign during the Oscars, one of the most-watched TV events of the year, was a strategic move by Nike, as it was likely able to reach a wider audience base on cable TV. This year's Oscars broadcast saw a ratings rebound, with an audience of 29.6 million, according to Deadline. Viewership was up 12% over last year.
Consumers continue to respond positively to brands that focus on women's empowerment and breaking down gender stereotypes. More than a third of consumers say they like brands more when their marketing rallies against gender stereotypes, and 25% say they would be more likely to purchase from those brands, according to a Choozle survey. Most consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, are beginning to view brands as societal change-makers expected to take a stand on social and political issues. Sixty-three percent of consumers prefer to purchase from brands that support a purpose that aligns with their own values, Accenture research found.
While making political or social statements was previously seen as a risky marketing move, Nike has shown that it can be a winning strategy. Nike reported "record engagement with the brand" after the Kaepernick campaign in the fall, despite drawing some controversy and calls to boycott the brand. Online sales for Nike jumped 31% over Labor Day weekend 2018, which followed the campaign launch, an Edison Trends analysis revealed. The campaign also helped Nike see a 2:1 ration of earned media to paid media, according to Kantar Media. Nike reportedly spent about $4 million on paid TV ad buys for the Kaepernick campaign, but generated $7.6 billion in earned media value as a result.