There's A Lot To Love About The New Serena Williams Nike Ad
If you are a woman, you will love this ad. If you have daughters, you will love this ad. If you are a decent man, you will love this ad.
And if you work for Nike and sell shoes for a living, you will know that some people will hate this ad, but that overall, it will be received with overwhelming positivity and you'll probably sell more shoes.
The ad features Serena Williams, in the second of a series of ads riffing on the idea of being called crazy for daring to dream.
"If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic," Williams, says in the ad, which features footage of a range of female athletes, including Australia's own Matildas star Sam Kerr doing her trademark backflips after scoring.
"If we want to play against men, we’re nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity... delusional," Williams continues.
"When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy. ”
"A woman running a marathon was crazy," Williams narrates, to the famous grainy footage of Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to compete in the Boston Marathon, as a man physically tried to stop her running.
"A woman boxing was crazy," Williams continues. "A woman dunking? Crazy."
And then she turns it personal.
"A woman winning 23 grand slams, having a baby and then coming back for more? Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy and crazy.
"So if they wanna call you crazy? Fine. Show them what crazy can do."
And then there's a sponsor's message as the narration fades out. "It's only crazy until you do it. Just do it." And then the swoosh logo.
And if you're not inspired by that, you don't have a soul.
Nike first went down this path this with its "Dream Crazy" ad that ended with the line "Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything" and a close-up of Colin Kaepernick -- the NFL player who first "took a knee" during the national anthem as a way of protesting police brutality and racism.
Nike has gone there again now.
There was backlash after the first ad, with some saying they'd never buy Nike shoes again. This time, there have been just murmurs of disapproval, centred around some of Serena's more controversial moments in the past when she was less than polite to tennis officials.
But most people agree that Nike has gone to a very good place.
This ad isn't really about Serena Williams. It's about the struggle of women to be regarded as sporting equals, not just on the field, but in terms of their ability to dream.
Which as the ad tells us, is often called crazy. But which, of course, isn't.