P&G publishes ‘The Look’ and Nike’s new Kaepernick story

P&G releases “The Look,” a sequel to “The Talk”

Two years ago, P&G won praise and award show hardware for its powerful cinematic spot “The Talk.” Last week, it released a sequel called “The Look.” The video shares a similar goal: portraying the casual racism that black Americans face every day.

“We want to live in a world that is equal and inclusive—in race, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, ability, religion and age—but the reality is, it’s not fully equal or inclusive and one of the core reasons is bias,” said P&G’s top marketer Marc Pritchard, in a release. “Empathy can be a particularly effective antidote to bias, and we created ‘The Look’ to change perspectives, prompt personal introspection, and bring people together for a conversation to ultimately change hearts and minds.”

The video is hosted at TalkAboutBias.com where key moments in the film are also presented as chapters, with additional information and history about some of the underlying issues that reinforce systemic racism in America.

Nike runs into new American flag flap

A new chapter in the Nike/Colin Kaepernick story is unfolding this week, after Nike pulled a line of sneakers—which it had already shipped to retailers—after Kaepernick expressed concerns.

The problem, according to a report in The Wall St. Journal, is that the shoes feature an old version of the American flag associated with the slavery era. More recently, the flag has reportedly been adopted by white supremacist groups.

Nike released a statement (shared by Vox here) saying it “made the decision to halt distribution of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” By late Tuesday the story was catching fire, with politicians including U.S. Senator Ted Cruz looking to score points on social media. The Tweeter-in-Chief had not yet weighed in, but it seems almost certain he will at some point.

Just last month in Cannes, BBDO global CCO David Lubars praised Nike for standing behind Kaepernick even in the face of negative press. “Companies shouldn’t back down when they have a stand. And they should support what they believe in,” he said. It seems Nike will be tested again in the days ahead.

BodyArmor enlists outspoken U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe

Sports drink BodyArmor is also courting controversy with a new video spot featuring Megan Rapinoe, one of the most well-known and politically active stars of the U.S. women’s soccer team—which is headed to the final of the Women’s World Cup in France this weekend.

Asked last week about going to the White House should Team U.S.A. win the World Cup, Rapinoe replied: “I’m not going to the fucking White House.” Video of her remarks quickly went viral. Rapinoe, a vocal champion of LGBTQ rights, also does not sing the national anthem, and has expressed support for Colin Kaepernick.

BodyArmor’s ad,  “Now that’s American,” says that Rapinoe stands for “All that is beautiful. All that is good. All that is us.”


David Brown