Nike Firm’s American Advertisement Analysis

Nike is attempting to sell its various sporting equipment to all communities through the use of motivational strategies. It endeavors to send this message through popular sporting icons, background music, narration, and slow-motion in its advertisement (ND J, 2018). The advertisement furthermore appeals to the ambitious nature of many people in the world, currently stemming from the ideologies of democracy and capitalism. The ad also incorporates filters in the editing of the videos to achieve specific manipulation and features.

The advertisement pleas to all audiences passionate about achieving sporting excellence and satisfaction in other aspects of life. The ad aims at people with disabilities and reminds them that physical limitations are not the absolute determinant of their success. It additionally targets people of all races by incorporating popular sportspeople from across the globe. The advertisement focuses on children who aspire to become great and motivates them to be determined in this pursuit (ND J, 2018).

The end goal of the advertisement is to sell Nike kits and sportswear to various audiences as the ideal brand to achieve sporting success. The ad aims at sports people in all games by incorporating representatives from all these activities. It concentrates on people encountering difficulties in their lives and encourages them that these challenges can be overcome with adequate drive.

Means of Manipulation

Cultural Symbols and Myths

The choice of athletes in the video is an immaculate one, given its incorporation of representatives from all parts of the world. The use of a Muslim lady is in contrast to popular belief that Muslim women are not accustomed to sports. This encourages female Islam aspirants to venture into games using Nike equipment. The video also features athletes of various countries, including Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya and LeBron James from USA, to indicate that nation of origin is not a barrier to success. It reminds people that regardless of their situation, they can achieve success if they rectify their mindset to reflect that of the icons portrayed.

Age in attaining success is illustrated as a non-factor, and athletes are encouraged to pursue success early in life like Alphonso Davies, who played for his country at 16. His refugee status from an early age was not a determinant for his success, and he overwhelmed that barrier to rise to the peak of sporting achievements. The disease is also portrayed as a barrier that can be overcome by being determined and making the appropriate sacrifices.

The message from the advertisement radiates with popular day beliefs that have encroached every part of the world, encouraging people to tirelessly pursue success. The narrator emphasizes that regardless of how much one attains, they are never good enough as more remains to be achieved (Solomon, 1988). This is illustrated in the story told, and the lesson is that Nike is the brand to enable athletes to cross those barriers. Despite LeBron being the greatest basketball player in history, he still aspires to achieve more. It was not enough for Eliud Kipchoge to become the fastest runner in the world, but there remained the goal of being the fastest to have ever lived.

The narrator reminds the viewer to not model success on the stories of other people but to become so successful that they are the names mentioned alongside tales in those sports. The narrator discourages contentment and encourages the audience to disregard anything that may tamper with their success, encouraging sacrifice. The message from the advertisement is to always look out and see what more one can do to advance their craft and achieve greatness.

The model athletes used to depict success in sports are people who are admired globally for their success and celebrated for their greatness. The narration indicates that achieving the level of accomplishment they have attained is the ideal form of success (Solomon, 1988). The use of slow-motion when depicting various events in the video is intended to pass different messages, including enabling a viewer to integrate information better. When the child is running, the video is slowed, and the viewer is forced to pay greater attention to their facial expressions. The child is struggling but still goes beyond that barrier to attain success. The boxer is also depicted in slow motion as she throws punches, and the attention is on her face to illustrate dedication.

Video Quality

The narration throughout the video is convincing, as the speaker’s choice of words is remarkable. The narrator is clear, and every word can be heard audibly. This is crucial as it grasps the attention of a listener throughout the video, enabling them to climax to the intention of promoting Nike products. The story also embraces repetition to ensure the message is clearly perceived by all audiences. The description and video display coincide with each other, ensuring that the words being spoken are in tandem with the images in the display, hence coherence.

The speaker also adopts tonal variations for various scenarios throughout the video to relay different messages. Whenever speaking about a specific sport or athlete, the speaker uses a low tone for the part where their ambitions are small or before they have achieved their breakthrough. When the narrator speaks about their triumph, he increases the tempo and almost adopts a celebratory tone, emphasizing the importance of success in modern societies.

The music in the background of the advertisement is a soothing one and encourages the audience to buy into the purpose of the ad. It is worth noting that Nike does not directly market its sporting equipment throughout the video but rather at the end. The approach of the ad is to sell motivation to its consumers and eventually provide a correlation between sporting excellence and their equipment.

Whenever the narrator is noting a low point of minimal ambition for a specific sportsman, the music is dampened a little to ensure the audience focuses on the struggle. When an athlete achieves the brand of success being marketed, the music gradually escalates to a high pitch. The use of various sports sounds is also incorporated to boost familiarity and enable the audience to relate better (Scholes, 1989). These include the sound of the skateboard coming into contact with metal, the sound of the waves during surfing, and the sound of the basketball when the athlete is dribbling.

The video is edited in a manner that blurs the backgrounds the athletes are in to ensure that focus is entirely on them. This indicates that nothing else in the background matters except the athletes playing and the success they are focused on achieving (Scholes, 1989). The blurring of the backgrounds also minimizes distractions for the audience, ensuring they maintain focus on the message being communicated by the narrator.

The use of color in the video is also incredible as all aspects are adequately enhanced or dampened based on the specific target and message being communicated. The ending of the video mentions Nike’s motto “just do it” for the first time in the entire video and follows this with the logo. The logo and motto are displayed over an image containing a collection of all the athletes included in the advertisement. This is meant to denote the supremacy of the company and its immense contribution to all the achievements as the common denominator in all those stories.


ND J. (2018). Colin Kaepernick Nike commercial full video [Video]. YouTube. Web.

Scholes, R. (1989). On Reading a Video Text. From Inquiry to Academic Writing: A Text and Reader, 371-375. Web.

Solomon, J. (1988). Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising. Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers, 120-171.

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