I really don’t know what to say to this. It’s wrong for so many reasons, not the least of which is the suggestion that shoes can help you jump a car (WTF?).
Yes, Kobe says “do not try this at home,” but come on people…what does Nike take us for? Behind every piece of advertising is a message and this one is about the shoe’s performance.
They even released this thing on Kobe Bryant’s own website, which should give you an indication that they want people to think it’s real.
And who knows, it very well might be, but either way it’s dumb and dangerous and Nike should take it down immediately.
The consensus in the comments section seems to be that I’m dumb for embedding the video, and I think it’s fair criticism because this does get more people to watch it. However, the reason I did this is to show people how this video is grossly irresponsible. And yes, there’s another way to handle this, but I’m not really a big fan of blogs that link to YouTube so I have to leave their site in order to watch something. To me, that’s why things are embeddable.
Getting back to the main point, yes, I’m outraged that Nike is taking a clearly dangerous trick and using it to sell shoes. Let’s remember that jumping cars is not a sport, so Nike is selling a dare here, not just performance.
Moreover, marketing should never be responsible for one broken nose, or busted jaw or fractured skull. Not one. And yet I’m sure we all know it’s going to happen as a result. So while they may not be legally responsible when bad things happen to people who emulate this ad, from a marketing ethics point-of-view they’re guilty as hell.
Call this post unwarranted outrage if you want, but I’m sticking by it and I think the reasoning is pretty straightforward.
The problem will come when the first stupid person decides to try it themselves to show off. The first broken neck, paralyzed or dead kid will make Kobe and Nike look incredibly irresponsible. I would not be surprised if they get sued and it becomes a big mess.
While I donâ€™t want to sound like the grumpy parent that I am, I canâ€™t help but point out that this is stupid and irresponsible behavior and the perhaps the dark side of social media marketing. Kobe has a huge following despite his problems off the court. Kobeâ€™s jersey is the number one most popular jersey in the US and even in China. Kids who donâ€™t know any better and adults who are stupid enough to try to emulate their heroes are going to see if they can do this too.
While a pair of Nikeâ€™s costs $130 bucks, a kidâ€™s life priceless. Nike and Kobe should start thinking now about how they get themselves out of that mess. Itâ€™s coming soon.
I’m telling you…this could get ugly quick.
This entry was posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008 and is filed under Bad Decisions, Media, Sports, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.