This is a perfect example of a brand getting involved in a sociopolitical issue, the right way.
Nike’s latest one-minute film, “You Can’t Stop Our Voice,” illustrates how you don’t have to be a global superstar to make an impact.
The film that pulls together archive footage of a few of their biggest stars to tell the story of how you don't need to be a super star to have a voice in the issues that matter. Through the journey to success, as depicted by the young women training alone in the stadium, you don't need to wait until you have the means to make a big donation to a cause you care about - you can start today and 'use your voice'. In this case the call to action was to vote in the 2020 US election.
From a practical execution standpoint this video was certainly easy to create. The team used footage it already owns or got a license for to bring the star power to the video only really needed to manage one production shoot - the shot of the young women training.
However, this simplicity actually says volumes on how considered Nike's approach to the advert really was. From an effort standpoint, this ad got the message across with a medium amount of effort which showed that Nike cares more about the issue than what a simple published statement could convey while still acknowledging it's place as a company with no ties to government or societal outcomes. Too much effort would have been to dedicate an entire production to get people to vote, which would have been praised but there is no ROI for the brand that this medium effort ad wouldn't provide. A nice middle ground.
What I love most though is not the ad itself but the actions accompanying it.
I've ranted before on the need to act on your words as a brand and walk the walk when you say something is important. In essence, if you don't validate your position with a substantial investment of time or money then you're asking for a public backlash that far outweighs the points you get for taking a stand in the first place.
Here, in alignment with Nike’s efforts to increase voter participation and minimize the barriers to voting, the company partnered with Lyft, the transportation networking company, to support early voting by giving access to discounted rides in communities who have historically had a harder time getting to the polls, as well as supporting voters in Nike World Headquarters’ backyard - Portland, Oregon.
They did the math and the goodwill the brand receives far outweighs the few thousand dollars they're going to spend on the discounted rides and by partnering with Lyft, they get to split the financial burden while equally benefiting from the reaction. Even if you're biased against the two brands, there's not much to critisise here - they told people to vote and dedicated resources to remove a barrier that stops many people. Is it perfect - no. Is it better than most other brands - yes. Will this help their legacy as an American brand - totally.
Looking at the details of the discounts it all checks out too:
*The NIKE2020 Lyft promo code is valid October 24, 2020 through October 30, 2020, between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time for up to a maximum of $10 off one (1) Lyft car ride (Lux excluded) to a polling location or registered ballot drop box locations in Atlanta, Memphis, Chicago, Baltimore, Houston, Milwaukee, Miami and Portland. Limited quantity available. Limit one per user. Lyft promo codes and discounts are offered in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and cannot be combined with other ride credit or offers. Offer of promo code is not intended to induce, nor is it conditioned on, the act of voting, or voting for or against any particular person or measure. Subject to Lyft’s Terms of Service.
I really like it.