When I scrolled down my news app (which is mainly about brands and technology), as usual I found that some brands are either doing things differently, facing a crisis or are in the middle of controversy. Nike, with a history of creating publicity with their sentimental concepts, have recently come up with another one – fitness gears for plus-size women. Nowadays, the majority of brands are associating themselves with uplifting women and promoting them with the ability of doing either as well as men or better than them. The history of Nike’s campaigns shows they have always thought out of “tracks” when they are not only just selling their products, but also smartly associating the product with the sentimental areas in the community.
With their recent campaign of empowering plus-size women, Nike knows that the women who are already fit or hit the gym everyday will be interested in buying their fitness gear. Targeting a non-gym goer is an excellent strategy of market penetration where the target audience is not only just the fit or motivated but also the audience which doesn’t have fitness as part of their activity. And it is not only just the type of concept that Nike gains publicity from, but also from the controversies which add fuel to Nike’s campaign strategy – probably due to people who look at things slightly differently. It’s hard to predict the success rate of this campaign but doing similar controversial campaigns in the past has resulted in gains for Nike, such as the Colin Kaepernick campaign 2017 which saw Nike’s online sales crossing the 30% mark, and this one has already grabbed attention.
What controversy has the plus-size women gotten into?
Tanya Gold, a journalist from The UK Telegraph, recently called Nike’s plus-size women campaign a despicable move. Her take is that Nike is doing the wrong thing by targeting a plus size group of audience. She sparked a debate by fat shaming the plus-size mannequin and stating the featured plus-size mannequin was “immense, gargantuan, and vast!”. By no means, I am trying to say that her observation reflects that she has fatphobia, but she has gotten the concept horrendously wrong by reckoning that gym is only for the people who are already fit (obviously not). Nevertheless, this will only benefit Nike by creating more awareness about the campaign.
I personally believe that the marketing team of Nike should be proud of touching an untouched or rarely touched market and would be interesting to see the success rate of this campaign. We here at The Interpreters look at the integration of a campaign’ likeability, campaign awareness, recall factors, etc. for gauging the success of a campaign. Our approach of comparing numbers in terms of difference in sales and increase in new customers ultimately leads our clients to understand the market better and take the right step forward. How would you measure the success of a campaign?
By Akash Singh