Thursday Theater: Nike Ad Featuring Fit Fatty Runs During 2012 Olympics

I have to admit that I was pretty excited to see this Nike ad pop up during the Olympics.  When the jogger trotted into view I held my breath waiting for them to say something nasty.  After watching all those perfect bodies in spandex, this kid was a breath of fresh air.  And I have to say, that for the most part I think Nike got it right.

To me, this kid embodies the awesome spirit of the joy of fitness that I try to share on The Fat Chick website.  He embodies the nearly 1,000 Fathletes featured in the Fit Fatties Forum which I host with the amazing Ragen Chastain.  He’s out there doing it.  He’s not limping along.  His pace is steady.  His breathing is even.  There’s nothing tongue-in-cheek or sarcastic about it.  He’s just going out for an every-day training run.  And kicking butt.

The voiceover reads: “Greatness, it’s just something we made up.  Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is a gift, reserved for a chosen few, for prodigies, for superstars.  And the rest of us can only stand by watching.  You can forget that.  Greatness is not some rare DNA strand.  It’s not some precious thing.  Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing.  We’re all capable of it.  All of us.”  Cue the logo text that reads: “Find Your Greatness”.

Now, I imagine, given the assumptions of our culture and the placement of the ad within the Olympics with its flood of conventionally beautiful and chiseled bodies that some viewers will add their own subscript stating “this kid needs to lose weight to be great.”  But luckily nothing in the V.O. or text that says anything about finding greatness “within”.  It’s talking about finding your greatness and is part of a group of ads featuring other unconventional athletes like this one, and this one and this one.  Frankly, I wish the voiceover from this ad could be on the ad with the fat kid, but still.  For the most part, I found myself giddy with excitement when I saw this one.

And yes, Nike could make a lot more fitness clothes in much bigger sizes.  I wish they did.  Although they do have a few pieces of plus-sized wear that are 1-3x (generously sized) that I have purchased and I absolutely adore.  But there’s not a whole lot to choose from.

So, perfect?  No, far from it.  But I think, with this ad campaign, Nike displayed a potential for greatness.

So my little chicklettes, I’d love to hear from you.  Let me know what YOU think.

Love,

The Fat Chick

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3 thoughts on “Thursday Theater: Nike Ad Featuring Fit Fatty Runs During 2012 Olympics

  1. Casey

    I’m glad that they managed to feature a fat kid doing something physical without showing external folks yelling at him, bullying, etc. I still wonder what Nike’s motivations are, especially because the kid featured in the ad has been interviewed and states that he’s trying to lose weight (I want to show him the fit fatties forum!).

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth

    Shoot, I almost cried when I saw that ad. I was holding my breath waiting for them to say something about how he COULD be great when he gets in shape or something… and they didn’t. The implication was that he was great NOW, for doing what he was doing NOW, and that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. Good job, Nike.

    Reply
  3. susiekline

    The ad made me cry a little! It was so nice to see that young man jogging down that lonely country road and not have anyone on TV making fun of him. I also like the thought that greatness is something we made up. I need to think about that for awhile…

    Reply

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