Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is the Nike Hyperdunk Ad Campaign Homophobic?

Nike has released this new ad campaign for the new Nike Hyperdunk sneakers and I find the visuals very interesting. Nike is known for being provocative and attempting to be shocking in their ads for the sake of publicity and controversy - so these new ads could be perceived as having a latent homophobic slant for the sake of controversy. Specifically, the ad above with the caption "That Ain't Right" could be interpreted in two ways: 1.) that one man's face near another man's crotch "ain't right" 2.) that the action of a male face colliding with a male crotch "ain't right".

The goal of this ad campaign is for it to be seen and the more controversy it can garner, then the more successful the ad campaign will be. I think that Nike could have did a better job if they truly wanted to be controversial and provocative - by having the models grab onto each other, in the same poses, and have more provocative copy (like "Just Do It!" or "Play Hard"). This would definitely result in more controversy and more publicity for Nike. I don't really think that Nike needs to appeal to its homophobic customers, as they probably already buy Nike, rather Nike should show and prove to consumers how fearless and cutting edge the brand likes to believe it is. These ads and this ad media strategy totally reminds of advertising in the 90's when ads were graphic, full of underlying subtexts and coding, highly provocative, and truly controversial.....

1 comment:

Paprika said...

I would take "That Ain't Right" more along the lines of any sweaty crotch ain't right in anyone's face. Or as you suggested, smashing ones balls into someone else's face would probably HURT.

I can see why they could be interpreted as a tad homophobic. However, upon first viewing, I didn't get that vibe.