I have to admit that Nike has been hitting it out of the park with their recent advertising campaigns. For me, it started with the very cute “I Would Run to You” ad for the new Nike Frees. They have caught my attention again, though, with their “Find Your Greatness” campaign, specifically the new ad featuring a young, overweight jogger making his way slowly, but surely, down a deserted, country road. And yes, you read that right–I did say an overweight jogger in a Nike ad. So refreshing when you consider the usual bodies we see in fitness ads, which, for most, are unattainable, and likely discouraging, ideals. The ad, included after the jump, is remarkably simple, but has a very powerful message. It stars Nathan, a 12-year-old boy from London, Ohio, and, as the title suggests, emphasizes that there is greatness in all of us.
As someone who has struggled with weight for many years of my life, and who has used running as a way to lose weight, I find this ad very inspiring. Like Nathan, I am on the slower side when it comes to runners, and, let me tell you, it is so easy to start feeling like I’m “not a real runner” because of that. I certainly don’t have a typical runner’s body, either, or at least not a body that you would see in a typical running gear ad. However, as the ad implies, it’s not about how fast you are, how big or small you are, or how popular or famous you are. It’s about finding your own greatness. In this case, greatness is determination, it is perseverance, it is not caring what others think, and it is doing what others might not think you were made to do.
The timing for the release of this ad really couldn’t be better, either. I’m sure there are millions of Americans sitting on their couches this week, watching the perfectly chiseled Olympic runners on TV, and thinking “I could never do that.” The Find Your Greatness-Jogger ad is an awesome reminder that it’s not about looking perfect or being the best. It’s about getting out there and doing your thing–you don’t have to be part of the elite to be considered an athlete! So, hats off to Nike for this wonderful ad, and hats off to Nathan! Keep it up and know that we all think you’re great!
Meagan is a geochemistry research lab manager, runner, Netflix binge-watcher, and Mom to a rescue dog, a bunny, and a human child. She started running in May 2011 and ran her first half marathon in October 2012, followed by her first marathon in October 2013. In July 2018, she joined the triathlon world and completed an Olympic-distance race. After an extended break (pregnancy/maternity leave), she is making a long-overdue return to running and is preparing for a high-elevation half marathon at Crater Lake National Park in August 2020.