Serena blows minds in defiant Nike ad
SERENA Williams and Nike have unveiled a powerful new ad campaign that's blowing minds all over the world.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the iconic "Just Do It" campaign, Nike and the 23-time grand slam champion have teamed up again for a new campaign centred around empowering women.
Launched with a 90 second ad screened during Monday's 91st annual Academy Awards - where Williams also featured prominently as an award announcer - Nike has struck an incredible connection with fans around the globe for tapping into the enduring fighting spirit of female athletes.
The emotion-charged "Dream Crazy" campaign has already been labelled "iconic" by some commentators.
The ad features Williams doing a voice over while famous video clips of female athletes are played over the top.
The ad features alleged sexual assault victim and Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles, Olympic snowboard star Chloe Kim, Ibtihaj Muhammad - an Olympic fencer who competed in a hijab - former WNBA superstar Lisa Leslie, San Antonio NBA assistant coach Becky Hammon and many more.
The ad also features Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
It opens with the raw emotion of para-triathlete Sarah Reinertsen being completely overwhelmed by a recent race win.
The ad, which has received rave early reviews, is yet another hit for the Nike marketing department.
The ad was the brainchild of long-time Nike partner agency Wieden+Kennedy and was directed by the same visionary behind the controversial recent Gillette ad on masculinity.
Williams discusses her own fightback from the birth of her first daughter Alexis Olympia in the ad - and many other inspirational stories of female athletes changing the game, including transgender Olympic champion Caster Semenya.
"If we show emotion, we're called dramatic," Williams says at the start of the ad.
"If we want to play against men, we're nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, delusional.
"When we stand for something, we're unhinged. When we're too good there's something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we're hysterical or irrational or just being crazy.
"But, a woman running a marathon was crazy. A woman boxing was crazy. A woman dunking? Crazy. Coaching an NBA team? Crazy. A woman competing in a hijab, changing her sport, landing a double-cork 1080 or winning 23 grand slams, having a baby and then coming back for more? Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy and crazy.
"So if they want to call you crazy? Fine. Show them what crazy can do."
The ad ends with a simple Nike slogan: "It's only crazy until you just do it".
It also follows the overwhelming success of last year's "Until We All Win" Colin Kaepernick Nike commercial which saw Nike share prices reach an all-time high in September.
The ad featured Kaepernick challenging people to "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything" after his decision to kneel during the American national anthem ultimately cost him a career in the NFL.
Nike has now done it again with the launch of Williams' new campaign.
During the Oscars, Nike will unveil its "Dream Crazier" spot, focusing on female athletes who have broken barriers, brought people together through sport, and inspired generations. It includes Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Chloe Kim, members of the USWNT, and Serena Williams. pic.twitter.com/cSgqMzm2Nq— Alicia Jessop (@RulingSports) 24 February 2019