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Nike Hurt ad

Nike Hurt ad

Featuring the haunting Johnny Cast song “Hurt,” Nike portrays athletes as maniacal, tragic, passionate, pain addicted losers/winners. Powerful!

Personally, the saddest moment is Gail Devers falling over the hurdle when she was so far ahead of the rest of the field. I remember wishing to console her.

Watch it

Previous Johnny Cash related posts: Cash & Muppets, Get Rhythm, City of New Orleans, Hillman on Romanek.

Comments

4 Responses to “Nike Hurt ad”

  1. Jaymis on September 6th, 2006 9:31 pm

    Surely you mean Johnny Cash cover of Nine Inch Nails song :)

    It’s an incredible track, one of the most amazing covers ever, and quite effective piece of advertising, but for me they mangled the song just a little too much to fit it in the 60 second spot. The whole power of the track is the incredible build which takes place over 4 minutes. The way it’s been cut makes it seem like they’re just using it because he says “hurt” a lot..

    For me watching that against the Romanek clip just highlights how marketing and advertising people are willing to exploit other people’s pain for their own gain. They’ve taken this amazing piece of art, mixed it with documentation of humans basically destroying themselves and come up with a pale imitation.

    This isn’t a rant on advertising, I freaking love good advertising, but to me this particular spot comes up less than the sum of its parts.

  2. Ajit on September 6th, 2006 10:35 pm

    Jaymis,

    I don’t think it is shallow as you say it is. Though I did wait a day to sit on it before I decided posting it because it was so moving. I think it was more of a Nike thing, and also some of the exploitation you mention.

    I think partly what disturbed me earlier on when I first saw it was that there was no comeback. It almost seemed unnatural for the athlete not to fight back in his/her commercial and win. And that is when I felt they were exploiting the drama. In the end though, I think athletes are somewhat pain addicted and I think the ad captures that well. Athletes have flaws, have ugly moments. I think the ad also captures that.

    I did know at one time that Hurt was Nine Inch Nails (I did listen to them a lot at one time). But I have forgotten their connection to this song. Johnny Cash’s cover and Romanek’s video have left a stronger impression.

    Thanks for pointing that out and your interesting comment.

  3. Ian G on September 18th, 2006 5:05 pm

    This proved one thing to me.

    The Reznor or the Cash versions of the song work on different levels. The original NIN version highlights the plight of a heroin addict loving his drug “his sweetest friend”, whereas the Cash version is a poigniant song which works on a more fatalistic level of an old hellraiser lamenting his past hellraising and illness. Either way, if you’re 18 or 80, you’ve got to be moved.

    The one thing it proved, is that the enormous, faceless organisation that is Nike have no soul at all; if they can exploit such a beatiful work of art to shift a few million more trainers. Frankly, they’ll hijack anything to make a fast buck.

  4. Alvaro on December 30th, 2010 1:05 pm

    It is an excellent piece of advertising. Why do you always want to see the superhero? The suffering is part of the game, too. It shows how human the sports people are.