Serena Williams Nike ad is powerful social commentary

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Serena Williams Nike ad is powerful social commentary

Serena Williams is a legitimate voice for women’s empowerment. Check out her Nike ad celebrating “Crazy.” It’s a great vignette of women transcending within the context of sport. The ad sums up a bunch of stereotypes that women are labeled when they lose their temper or decide to do things that are traditionally male dominated or ask for equal opportunity. She then makes the case for, “yeah, call it all crazy, and show them what crazy can do.”

It’s a powerful statement for sure. And it’s on the back of other social commentary that Nike has decided to align itself with, such as the Colin Kaepernick ads last year. In other words, Nike is placing a bet on being on the right side of these cultural arguments, instead of staying silent. The Nike angle is interesting in itself.


The whole ad is narrated by Serena, and predictably, ends with Serena talking about winning 23 Grand Slams and coming back for more after having her first child. Which leads me to think about the following scenario; could it be possible that Serena fails to win another Grand Slam? This scenario is entirely possible, and it would get in the way of this narrative that has built about Serena and how successful her comeback would be.


I think it ultimately won’t matter. Regardless of whether she wins another Grand Slam or not, her legacy is in secure enough. I mean, 23 Grand Slams! I have a hard time believing anyone else will ever come close to that. She will stand alone. The tennis accomplishments are really impressive. However, even more impressive is the evolution of Serena in becoming a cultural phenomenon and an inspiration for children in underserved communities everywhere in the globe. Once her career is over, it will be interesting how far she can take her inspirational persona. I for one will continue to cheer for her.


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