Nike dares to say ‘Don’t Do It’ in bold response to US racism

Nike has a history of taking a stand on racism, most notably with its controversial Colin Kaepernick ad, so the brand has earned the right to have a voice on the issue, and is speaking up as riots take place across the US in response to the police murder of George Floyd.

A Nike spokesperson says: “We hope that by sharing this film we can serve as a catalyst to inspire action against a deep issue in our society and encourage people to help shape a better future.” The ad is by Wieden + Kennedy Portland.

Another powerful ad, this time from L’Oreal, also brings a new twist to an old line. It isn’t in direct response to the riots in the US, but it looks like it was made with racism as a driving force and, in the current context, brings a new power to “I’m worth it,” almost infusing it with a #BlackLivesMatter message.

Viola Davis’ charged delivery of the line is a far cry from the glossy Jennifer Aniston version. Davis says: “Next time you doubt your place in the world or the workplace or your own skin say these words… say it like you mean it.”

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.