Is it better to be safe or sorry?
International brand/phenomenon Nike is facing its biggest match yet. In an effort to reach out to extreme sports enthusiasts, the brand has replaced its signature slogan "Just do it" on a line of products to these that go "Dope", "Get High", "Get Wet" and "Ride Pipe" with the purpose of imitating the lingo the target is accustomed to.
The response has been nothing short of a conundrum. Anti-drug groups have condemned the phrases in a letter sent to thousands of people, including officials in the White House and the National Drug Policy. Even though Nike has denied the claim, some still consider that it promotes addiction to drugs, instead of resembling the language of surfers and skateboarders.
The commotion has been further instigated by Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino, who told the Boston Herald: "This is outrageous. What we don't need is a major corporation like Nike, which tries to appeal to the younger generation, out there giving credence to the drug use. That is the wrong message for Nike to send."
It's only a matter of time until we witness the effect this backlash will have on the brand and the actions taken in order to salvage its image. Will the products be discontinued? Or will Nike stick to its guns? All in all, it's a pretty delicate situation if you ask me. Having a historic slogan such as "Just do it" so imprinted on a brand followed by this, it's a thin line between hip and politically incorrect. In the end, Nike is associated with health and stands as an inspiration to many (especially youngsters around the world), who view the brand's raison d'être as a motto. But who knows? Like they say in the field, "There's no such thing as bad publicity..."
Let the games begin!
* Special thanks to Edgar Estévez who broke the news...