Nike seems to be trying to use the cliche “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
In a move to hire Colin Kaepernick to their new campaign, they’ve gone over the top. The failed NFL troublemaker is a symbol of lies, anti-police sentiment, and hate of country. It should get a lot of liberals (who probably already buy Nikes, or wish they could) to give a thumbs up to the company in solidarity.
This move has at least one major flaw, though: competition. (see video above)
A campaign like this where a very controversial subject is used to generate buzz around your brand name could work in some cases. Let’s face it, it did work for that particular purpose. Nike is the buzzword of the day now, and in fact, a hashtag concerning them was trending at number one for a while. The flaw is the fact that the hashtag that was trending was none other than #boycottnike.
Sometimes negative publicity can work – especially if the people buying your product happen to side with you and this is part of your image. Miley Cyrus,whose biggest claim to fame was Hannah Montana, would probably be a nobody today if she hadn’t destroyed her squeaky-clean image with giant fingers and excessive twerking. While it turned most parents off, it enlarged her target audience, with Wrecking Ball views going through the roof.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what kind of publicity you have. You’ve heard the saying bad news is better than no news. Facebook, Google, and Twitter debacles are prime examples of this. While there are alternatives to these social media sites, such as http://teapartycommunity.org, a large segment of society doesn’t really know what to do since most of their contemporaries (a lot of who are liberal) are on the mainstream sites. In the end most people just complain and deal with it.
The more conservative and informed voters are heading to the Tea Party Community in droves as they have learned it is the conservative counterpart to Facebook, with the same platform.
Nike, however, sells shoes.
Expensive shoes. Most of the people that buy Nike’s are fairly well off, and mainly just buy them because they’re generally thought of as a good brand. But so is Brooks, Reebok, Asics, Adidas, Under Armour, etc. The shoe industry is cutthroat, with everyone trying to change their shoes with the latest gimmick. Pumps, gel, wider soles, springs… there’s a constant attempt to one-up the competition, and competition is plentiful.
Most people don’t hold such a strong loyalty to Nike
Loyalty to a brand only goes so far. Athletes and consumers alike will switch their sportswear if they get a little ticked off. The stock market’s drop on September 4th should show this fairly clearly. On top of that, conservatives have realized their power. The boycott of Target after they allowed men to go into women’s restrooms really hurt the chain.
Conservatives really didn’t boycott on a large scale before Target. They talked about it, but no one really believed that a boycott could work, so it wasn’t tried. Target’s policies were bad enough that parents would stay away even if they were the only families that didn’t shop there since there was probably a Wal-Mart down the street.
The other obvious example is the primary reason Kaepernick is well known.
The NFL had been giving baseball a run for its money as America’s’ favorite pastime. With the advent of Kaepernick and other players disrespecting the anthem, die-hard fans stopped watching. The NFL has lost a ton of money and with constant controversies every time they turn around I don’t see this windfall changing for the NFL anytime soon.
The results in both cases were stunning though and should serve as an eye-opener for average families. You and your family do not have to accept bad behavior from a large cooperation no matter how big they are. And, your purchases (or lack thereof) is what will destroy these kinds of divisive tactics. Nike would do well to heed this warning from the people.