I don’t know about you, but I cried all night on Tuesday.
It was the incredible performance and reaction of the USA Olympic gymnastics team seeing their lives of hard work in the gym pay off. It was the commercials showing in perfectly-paced succession the life-altering Olympic moments that shaped our culture. And it was the Nike ad. That one Nike ad.
Online conversation has erupted over the power of those 60 seconds showing a boy from London, Ohio, jogging alone down a gravel road, sweaty and determined and a stark contrast to the athletic performances and physiques that surrounded it like bookends. The single message: Greatness. While he didn’t look like the person we as a culture initially picture for a sportswear ad, the message couldn’t have rung louder, stronger or truer. Greatness. In every way each individual person can achieve it.
While not an official sponsor of the games, Nike has shown the power of truly great content and placement that emphasizes it – surpassing Adidas, an Olympic sponsor, in viral attention. I can’t wait to see the cultural message resonate and where Nathan, the boy from Ohio, ends up. We’ll just have to watch and see. Until then, cheer on those finding their greatness, like Nathan, like Team USA.