Nike launches ‘EQUALITY’ campaign with film to air during the 59th Annual Grammy Awards
“Is this the land history promised?”
That’s the question Michael B. Jordan asks in the new short film EQUALITY, launching Nike’s new campaign of the same name, the goal of which is to encourage “people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field,” the company says. Back in January, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Nike announced partnerships with two community organizations, PeacePlayers International and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.
Now, Nike is coming into your living room with its message. The film is set to air during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards and again during NBA All-Star Weekend. Nike brought the stars out to help push the message, too. As far as athletes go, LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, Gabby Douglas and Victor Cruz all make appearances. On the nonsports entertainment side, Alicia Keys appears in addition to Jordan. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, who’s won a Grammy for her work on Rihanna’s “We Found Love” video, the 90-second black-and-white treatment sends an upfront message about changing impressions regarding the concept of boundaries.
“Here within these lines, on this concrete court. This patch of turf. Here, you’re defined by your actions. Not your looks or beliefs,” Jordan continues. “Equality should have no boundaries. The bonds we find here should run past these lines. Opportunity should not discriminate. The ball should bounce the same for everyone. Worth should outshine color.”
Courtesy of Nike.
As the scenes continue and overhead drone shots of urban playing spaces take up the frame, the unforgettable sound of a spray paint can interjects. Using a street art metaphor to make a point about in-your-face activism is not only effective, but for many who’ll likely see this ad, perhaps familiar.
The EQUALITY initiative’s social media and clothing efforts are also a big part of this push. Hashtags and T-shirts make the world go ’round these days, and Nike certainly has plenty to offer as part of its “unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.” Needless to say, the tees fit right in thematically with the rest of their annual Black History Month collection.