Nike welcomed the nation’s birthday by rewriting history — and not selling a “Betsy Ross” flag shoe that Colin Kaepernick, who partners with the sports brand, deems the glorification of racism and slavery. It's a bold political stand by a brand.
Marc S. Pritchard
Nike’s plus-size clothing sales may rise 10 to 35% with the brand’s addition of curvy mannequins, but the brand stand in favor of inclusivity isn’t the sportswear company’s first step into controversy.
Even pessimistic marketing thought leaders believe more than 100 million viewers caught the Super Bowl ads. For marketers like SunTrust Banks and Mercedes-Benz, it’s been the best place to announce initiatives that can then live on other marketing channels.
In much of the brand messaging taking on societal issues, marketers were establishing positions that had been absent before. In Gillette’s new marketing strategy, its viral commercial that takes on “toxic masculinity” is actually a mea culpa for its own previous branding.
Brands must take a stand on societal issues, because consumers now expect it, says Marc S. Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble. Considering the words from the public face of the largest advertiser had a sweeping effect last year on digital marketing — directing brands, agencies and vendors alike to clean up their acts — some marketers may see his latest comments as a call to action.
Unilever representatives are threatening to pull ads from Facebook and Google, which “it says have become a ‘swamp’ of fake news, racism, sexism and extremism,” reports CNNMedia yesterday.