A recent commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick just won Nike its first commercial award in almost 20 years.
At the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sunday, September, 15, Nike took home the Emmy award for “outstanding commercial”. The last time Nike won this award was in 2002 for their Winter Olympics campaign, “Move”. The “Dream Crazy” campaign, which first aired last September, promoted to viewers the idea of dreaming big, and dreaming crazy. While the message behind the ad was powerful, it sparked controversy surrounding former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of the campaign.
Kaepernick is well known for his nationally controversial action of kneeling during the national anthem at a 2016 NFL preseason game. Kaepernick was protesting racial injustice in the United States by not standing for the national anthem, which praises a flag and a country that has oppressed minorities for centuries. Throughout the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick continued to kneel for the national anthem in the beginning of each game, which created a national divide. Many stood with Kaepernick and his protest, while many were infuriated, saying the action was disrespecting our country and our soldiers. The situation led to Kaepernicks leave by the end of the 2016 season.
Two years after Kaepernick’s protest, Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign still faced initial backlash. When the ad first aired, Nike experienced a 3.2% drop in shares, while #NikeBoycott was trending on Twitter. This is not last long, however. Within a few days, people began to shine light on the importance of Nike being “brave enough to change the game”.
Despite controversy and backlash, Nike brings home an Emmy Award for “outstanding commercial”, one year after the “Dream Crazy” release.