Nike Women has launched three films to challenge gender stereotypes

Nike Women

Nike Women has launched three new films that challenge gender stereotypes. The films are launched in the Middle East, Russia and Turkey, and each is designed in a style tailored to that particular region. The films are part of a series of country specific campaigns that launched last month. Nike has taken this approach because it believes  these will appeal to a global market. The films were created by W&K Amsterdam.

Nike say of the Russian ad:

“Nike’s new “Made Of” film challenges these subtle, but outdated notions of gender roles, by highlighting some of the strongest athletes in Russia. The new film and broader campaign celebrate the strength, power and spirit of Russian women, hoping to create a new dialogue around what’s possible. ”

W&K Amsterdam add:

“You’re made of what you do.

“What our girls are made of” is one of the most recognisable and loved songs from Russian childhood.  Sung by children and parents from an early age, the song’s verses sweetly describe little girls as made of “flowers”, “gossip” and “marmalade”.
‘Made Of’, our new film for Nike, challenges these subtle, but outdated notions of gender roles, by highlighting some of the strongest athletes in Russia. The new film and broader campaign celebrate the strength, power and spirit of Russian women, hoping to create a new dialogue around what’s possible.
In the film, a young girl is shown singing the traditional verses of “What our girls are made of”.  However, upon seeing some of Russia’s most accomplished athletes, the girl begins to change the lyrics of the classic song to include a more inspirational message. “Made of bruises; And of punches. Made of bravery; And of clenched fists.  Made of independence; And of skills; Of passion and heart; And of dignity.  Made of will; That’s harder than flint. Made of strength; And of fire.  Made of freedom; From other people’s opinions.  Made of accomplishments; And of achievements. This is what our girls are made of.”

Nike says of the Middle Eastern ad:

““What will they say about you?” is a question many young Arab females are challenged with at home.  Women are met with this phrase from family and friends when they endeavor to try something unexpected or to push boundaries beyond social norms.”

W&K Amsterdam say of the Middle Eastern targeted ad “What will the say about you?”:

“Our latest campaign for Nike launches with a new film highlighting five remarkable women who have achieved personal success through competitive and amateur sport.  Despite concerns or criticism, these women hope that the world will say they’re pioneers, role models and strong voices for their region.
The film features both professional and everyday athletes from the Arab region, including Parkour Trainer, Amal Mourad; Figure Skater, Zahra Lari; Pop Singer; Balquees Fathi; Fencer, Inès Boubakri; and Boxer, Arifa Bseiso.  Narration is done by Fatima Al-Banawi, a Saudi Arabian social researcher, artist, and actress.”

Nike says of their “This is Us” campaign for Turkish women:

“Through the film, Nike hopes to inspire more women and girls to get active.  Currently, there is a global decline in activity amongst children, and girls face an even greater number of barriers.  They are more likely than boys to lack confidence in their skills and feel self-conscious about their bodies; and many girls around the world are culturally discouraged from being physically active.

“This is Us” features prominent female figures from Turkey’s emerging sport and fitness scene, including Turkish National Basketball Team star, Işıl Alben; Tennis Player, İpek Soylu; Triathlete, Esra Gökçek; National Kickboxer, Funda Diken Alkayış; Dans Fabrika Dancers, led by Çisil Sıkı; and Actresses Dilan Çiçek Deniz and Elvin Levinler.”

The Overall Campaign:

“In some parts of the world, what’s daunting about sport for women, is how they look in their exercise pants. In the regions we worked in, what was more daunting, was societal expectations, gender discrimination, community pressure and the weight of traditions. Those are the barriers we tried to help break down, in order to clear the way for women to play sport,” said Craig Williams and Al Merry, W+K Amsterdam Creative Directors.

Kathryn Addo, W+K Amsterdam’s Group Account Director on Nike, says: “Working on a single brief across three wildly different markets with nuanced cultural sensitivities is exactly the kind of challenge W+K Amsterdam is perfectly positioned for. With people not only from the three markets in Nike’s brief, but over 25 nationalities, we’re instinctively attuned to understanding a large range of diverse cultures and contexts, and we channel that same instinct and curiosity into our strategic and creative processes. This cultural diversity allows us to produce impactful local market work and bring fresh ideas to the table that challenge and respect traditions.”


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