Nike is a brand that has been well-known for its outstanding commercials over the course of its fifty-year existence. The corporation has created a variety of printed advertisements over the years, and this paper examines an ad from the 1980s as well as a more recent one. The two advertisements refer to individuals’ desires, logic, and ethics, and the paper explains how they do so.
The target audience in the old Nike commercial was basketball players, while the target audience in the current Nike advertisement was soccer players. The old advert shows a group of five males holding a basketball, two of the men wear jerseys associated with the game, and a basketball post can be seen in the background,. The new ad shows a famous soccer player, a soccer ball, and what seems to be a soccer pitch. The two audiences are similar because they seek for the same qualities in a shoe. Both soccer and basketball players seek a shoe that will improve their speed and will withstand the tough nature of the games they play. However, basketball players need a shoe that has less grip on the ground enabling them to make quick cuts on the court while soccer players need a shoe that has more grip on the ground for increased stability and less slipping.
The old ad elicits the appeal of belonging, togetherness, warmth. All the five men are wearing the Dynasty, and this shows that they have common tastes and beliefs. The gesture by two of the men indicates a welcoming attitude and one of them leans forward with the ball showing that the group is approachable and trustworthy. The ad intends to generate the feeling of trust and create the picture that the Nike shoe is cool, dependable, and will not disappoint (Johansson & Carlson, 2014).
The new ad elicits the emotion of excitement. The stadium is under floodlights; the player seems to be running at high speed such that he leaves a trail of fire and smoke, and his body posture and facial expression show that he is extremely committed to running with the ball. The ad wants to generate a sense of coolness, excitement, and ambition among soccer players and suggest that with the right pair of shoes, they will surely achieve their goals. The emotional appeals of the two ads are different because the old ad targets an older group of individuals who seek trust and dependability on a product, while the new ad targets the younger generation which seeks excitement and is ambitious.
The old ad presents its logical appeal through the text that follows the image. From the text, Nike is sending the message that the Dynasty shoe is made of leather meaning it is durable and can handle harsh conditions, the material is also light enabling the player to make quick moves, and it allows for breathing and therefore, it is comfortable. There are no statistics included to evoke deeper reasoning, and the logic in the ad shows that the basketball audience at the time places a lot of importance on durability. On the other hand, the new ad does not have a logical appeal, it only contains the text “Explosive Speed” and there is no description of the features of the Mercurial Nike shoe that explains why it is speedy. The ad uses a famous soccer player who is shown moving at high speed and the intended audience can develop that the shoe is the best because the most talented soccer player uses it.
In the old ad, the ethical appeal comes from the bright display of Nikes logo on all the shoes worn by the five men. The logo has been updated because, in the old, the check mark is black, but in the new ad, the check mark is white. The new ad also has ethical appeal because it uses a celebrity soccer player, considered one of the best in the world and playing for the top team in Europe. By using the shoe, the celebrity spokesperson sends the message that the shoe results in explosive speed and therefore, every soccer team should use them to improve their speeds.
In the old as, the appeal is built around the features of the shoe such as durability and comfort while in the new ad, the shift in appeal has been to the emotions elicited from the use of the product such as excitement and status. Over time, advertisers have learned that customers are focused on how the product makes them feel rather than the features of the product (Keller, 2016). Consumers now buy for status and wanting to be recognized as a particular brand. The culture has changed from one promoting togetherness and team play to individuality, and this is shown in the ads by the fact that in the old one, a group of men is used, but in the new one, only one person is used to indicate a search for individual brilliance.
I think the ads are effective because there is a clear identification of the target audiences in both. More importantly, the messages of both ads are simple, and the audience can easily understand what Nike is trying to communicate. However, I feel that the old ad has the weakness that the product is not the focus. A person looking at this ad will notice the men and their warmth and hardly look at the shoes and takes the consumer to read the text to understand what the ad is communicating. The ads suggest that not much has changed on advertising because all ads seek to persuade people by appealing to their emotions, logic, and ethical tendencies such as trust.
Johansson, J. K., & Carlson, K. A. (2014). Contemporary brand management. SAGE Publication
Keller, K. L. (2016). Reflections on customer-based brand equity: perspectives, progress, and priorities. AMS review, 6(1-2), 1-16