WWJ-AM, Detroit Free Press, USA Today: Professor Jeff Stoltman on Nike's new Colin Kaepernick ad
The controversial new Nike ad, which Colin Kaepernick tweeted on Monday, is garnering significant attention on social and traditional media. The NFL has been accused of keeping Kaepernick off the field as a result of his taking a knee during the national anthem. The Kaepernick ad features his face and the words: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." And the new TV commercial, with the same undertone, features Kaepernick and other superstar athletes like NBA star LeBron James and tennis player Serena Williams, and is expected to air Thursday, during the NFL season opener. The Nike ad's message, marketing experts say, seems to be resonating with Detroiters — and other big-city residents nationwide — who have long felt oppressed, facing a lifetime of hardship because of both economic and cultural factors. It's the same feeling, experts say, that inspired the Detroit vs. Everybody slogan. "I think it's a zeitgeist move," said Jeff Stoltman, a marketing professor at Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business. "This is what's going on. This is what's capturing the conversation, the mood, if you will, of America." Stoltman said that Nike's marketing strategy is to ride a wave of interest in this issue in a way that will draw attention to its brand and products, and will also highlight its corporate image and values. Detroit holds great potential for Nike sales.