Source: BETRUE 2017
The initiative to present the LGBTQ movement in a way that doesn’t divide is always a proposal that is shaped by the perceptions of those not in the culture. That’s obvious. Nike doesn’t have to continue to promote the campaign started by its employees in 2012, but each year they release a selection of shoes that represent the rainbow of diversity in the Gay community.
The problem is how do you create a limited run of shoes, that is substantial and has to sell to continue to create a discussion? If people who aren’t in the culture are offended by words or actions then it makes sense that these same people may not provide the support required to actually sell through shoes that are deemed “made for the LGBTQ community.” It’s a marketing quandary for the brand that prides itself on supporting all of the people who wear their apparel.
To properly execute a campaign on diversity that possibly has divisive undertones, Nike has taken a very unique approach to this year’s campaign. The marketing approach is very subtle in the language used, but I think it is one of the better jobs of delivering the message via copy.
“The key for us was to create something that people could unite around to show their support for LGBTQ athletes,” says Robert Goman, LBGT Network Leader at Nike. “Sporting your rainbow in the gym or on a run became a way to feel like you belonged to something larger – you were connected to being ‘out’ or being an ally.”
Note the bold words in the copy above. Why is this important for this years releases? This will be the largest release of #BETRUE footwear and apparel. From a marketing standpoint it’s a big decision to move from a limited release to a more general release on a product that has a “small” market. The use of the words “support, something larger, and ally,” is almost an anti-society statement when you consider the world is now run by people who aren’t very tolerant.
This is a bold move by Nike and I hope it works well. The #BETRUE footwear and apparel is dope and supports a worthy cause.
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