If you watched the Olympics, and considering it was the most-watched event in U.S. history plenty of you did, you may remember seeing Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” campaign featuring an overweight boy running down a country road. He looks exhausted and genuine. Much has been made over whether the powerful commercial exploits an overweight child for attention or whether this truly is an attempt to communicate the message that greatness is found within all of us, not just Olympians. Here is what we know:
The boy featured is Nathan Sorrell from small-town London, Ohio. He is 12 years old and weighs 200 pounds. Nathan answered a casting call at his middle school after fitting Nike’s profile for this specific commercial. As if the ad doesn’t seem genuine enough, it was reported that Nathan actually couldn’t keep his lunch down during the second take.
Our thoughts? What a simple yet powerful message. We found ourselves cheering Nathan on and truly wanting him to succeed. And props to Nike for getting away from the “hard bodies” look and choosing a body type they wouldn’t normally use. The YouTube video has received over 970,000 hits, and if it inspired one person to get moving then we say, job well done.
Interesting advertising sidenote: Because Nike was not a paid Olympic advertising sponsor (Adidas was), they could not mention or use any imagery using the London Olympics. Instead, their “Find Your Greatness” campaign featured people from London cities that weren’t London, England. Hence why they chose to feature Nathan from London, Ohio. Touché, Nike.