Here’s some definitions of brave
- As an adjective, it’s showing no fear of dangerous or difficult things
- As a verb, it’s the ability to deal with dangerous or difficult things without fear
- As a brand, surely it’s Nike
Much has been written of the Nike decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in the new Just Do It campaign – for those who haven’t seen, this is the advertisement that drew mixed and extreme reactions; from burning Nike shoes to generating an estimated $43 million in media exposure for the company.
For those not familiar with the controversy of using Colin Kaepernick, he was one of the first NFL athletes to choose to kneel during the national anthem to bring attention to racial inequality and police brutality. For those who haven’t seen Texas Democrat, Beto O’Rourke explain his stance on the issue, I strongly suggest you watch below:
So while much has been written already on the impact, can we take a moment to reflect on two individual but interwoven acts of braveness – and how staying true to your brand is the bravest and hardest decisions.
For Nike, let’s not reward them for being brave in taking a political stand – by the nature of landscape we exist in, everything is political. They say as much in the creative – “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”. That’s not brave these days – it’s expected. Let’s reward their bravery in being true to their brand. As a brand archetype, Nike was known as the ‘Hero’ with the motto, where there’s a will, there’s a way and known for displaying courage and wanting to solve major social problems (or encourage others to do so). So the bravery is sticking true to your values and then finding ways to communicate these values.
And the second act of bravery is easily awarded to Beto O’Rourke – again staying true to his personal values but being brave enough to address the hot topical area, respecting the question and articulating a considered / measured response. Vanity Fair recently profiled O’Rourke likening the buzz around him to early Obama campaigning days. Fingers crossed, fortune does favour the brave.
By Paul Dixon