Nike Japan

Props to Nike Japan for pushing forward a conversation about racism in Japan. They have continued to stay on point on this issue. Back when Naomi Osaka won her historic third Grand Slam and again with this commercial released on Monday.

Nike Japan’s commercial depicts three mixed-race kids who overcome bullying and prejudice through sport

With the Olympics coming up this year in Japan (maybe), it is the perfect time to celebrate the diversity of biracial athletes in Japan. Besides Naomi Osaka there is Rui Hachimura who plays in the NBA, the sprinter Sani Brown, and scores of professional baseball players that grew up in Japan biracial and are representing the country on the world stage.

Nike – Can’t Stop Us

My kids are sick of me showing them Nike’s latest commercial which was just released this morning and already has almost 5 million views on YouTube and over 50k retweets on Twitter.

It’s just so good.

Not only does Nike tap into the deep longing we all have to get back together and enjoy sports, it also cleverly brings together two sides of our divided world into a message of unity. The message is that unity brings strength with the underlying theme being that we need to work together to fight the challenges we face.

The campaign is for a Nike’s membership and is by Wieden + Kennedy, the Portland agency that does all of Nike’s commercials. More details here.

Earlier spots in the series include LeBron narrating Play for the World

Play for the World

and the iconic, For once, Don’t Do It

For once, Don’t Do It

Nike on Chinese Culture

Nike has done it again, this time capturing the sometimes comic ritual of gift-giving (in this case, the tradition of hongbao red envelopes given out during the Chinese New Year) in Asian culture.

These envelopes are often filled with money and given to children by elder relatives for good luck. The 90-second spot from Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai depicts a cat-and-mouse game between an aunt attempting to give an envelope and her niece who repeatedly declines out of politeness.

The Drum

Hat tip to my son Tyler who has always had his finger on the pulse of pop culture.

Serena Williams

Nike debuted a video of Richard Williams coaching his then 9-year-old daughter Serena Williams. The commercial juxtaposes the images of Richard crouched next to a tiny Serena as he says, “This is you in the U.S. Open.” – The Root

Then there is this clip from an interview when she was 14-years-old when her father stepped in to defend his daughter and her dreams.

Celebrating athletes and the parents who supported their future dreams, gambatte Serena!