Nike celebrates ‘crazy’ female athletes in epic new ad

The 90-second spot, which aired during the Oscars and stars Serena Williams, criticises some of the language used to describe women in sport, and urges them to “dream crazier”

Nike has followed up last year’s controversial Colin Kaepernick ad, which celebrated 30 years of the brand’s Just Do It tag, with a new film that will likely prove less divisive but is no less powerful.

Serena Williams stars in the ad, which points out the way that women athletes are routinely described in language that is derogatory, before trying to reclaim the expression ‘crazy’ as being something to aim for rather than a way of holding women back.

The choice of Serena Williams as star is apt, both in terms of her phenomenal achievements in tennis but also the criticism that has regular accompanied her successes, which has recently included commentary on her on-court ‘angry outbursts’ and her outfits.

Alongside Williams, the ad features sports stars including Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Chloe Kim. It was directed by Kim Gehrig, who also directed the recent Gillette spot that addressed modern masculinity.

Creative agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Creative directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
Creatives: Alex Romans, Emma Barnett
Director: Kim Gehrig
Production company: Somesuch