Yesterday, NikeWomen launched what they describe as “a women’s initiative – called #betterforit – to inspire women to be active, take on new challenges and conquer personal goals.” They say it, “harnesses the bold voice of women today… with a lighthearted tone and humor.” Sounds great, right? We thought so until we saw the initiative’s first “short film” called “Inner Thoughts.”
In the 1:10 spot, you see a number of women engaging in different fitness activities: a spin class, a yoga class, a ½ marathon, working out at the gym. Each expresses her “inner thoughts,” which are some variation of an insecurity, comparison to other women, or self-doubt: “they look so nonjudgmental… I don’t trust that,” “oh good, a bunch of models right in front of me,” “why are there so many mirrors,” “don’t mind me over here with my baby weights and baby arms.”
So where are those “BOLD” voices the campaign description mentions?
The implied payoff is that, mid-fitness routine, the “inner thoughts” all switch to some variation of self-motivation: the sarcastically delivered “I love running… it’s really fun” and “exercise reduces stress,” in addition to, “I got this,” and “ugh,” – as “I can’t” is repeated in the background. But in the end they all can and they are… wait for it… #betterforit.
Whether delivered with humor or not, are women really better for an ad that, once again, plays off insecurities as a mechanism to motivate?
We don’t think so. What do you think?
PS – For the record, Sport England’s This Girl Can still gets our vote for “Best Campaign” to inspire and motivate more women and girls at any fitness level to be active.