Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Nike, Adidas, New Balance and PUMA Team Up for Boston

It’s hard not to feeling something when Boston is brought up. Amid tragedy, it’s undisputable that a sense of humanity is brought out in all of us.

This is so clearly shown with sportswear rivals New Balance, Nike, PUMA and Adidas coming together to deliver a simple message of solidarity. Their latest print ad has a simple message: “Today we are in the same team.”

It’s hard to be critical of this ad. When we are constantly being sold to, this simple message reminds us that at the end of the day, the companies out there are not only servicing us, but they are one of us. Sure, you can pick out all the financial motivations behind an action like this, but sometimes we just need to savor these moments of sentiment.

In terms of a lesson in marketing, perhaps the most important thing I take away is that fact that there are certain truths that apply to all of us. Sure, this advertisement is only a small gesture, but these gestures mean so much, because it accesses an aspect of humanity that lives in us all. It’s not really a matter of a common good, but an innate ability to care.

As a student in marketing, there are so many things we are learning, especially in terms of how to engage with people. We are constantly asking questions, looking outward, doing experiments and researching. We are so busy; we forget to look internally at ourselves. We cannot forget that we are also a part of the system.

So when I saw the collaborative ad, I thought it was great. Then I asked myself a simple question of “why?” I have concluded that it is because this ad has the ability to bring out the care in all of us, and this communal sense of care brings comfort in times of hardship. For four rival shoes companies to be able to do that with a simple message should show that we don’t need cheap tricks to engage with people. We should look deeper and have more faith in our audience and their ability to care.

I know this theory probably isn’t appropriate for every situation, but it’s something I feel is important, and that we shouldn’t forget. We should care.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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