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7 June 2021

Going against the grain

by Jason Stone

Nike: “Play Now: Korea” - 1 min 43s

It doesn't matter how huge Nike become, they will always represent themselves as the nonconformists, and this idea has served them extraordinarily well in the English-speaking world where their rebellious streak is broadly seen as a sly piece of brand positioning, even by those who don't know what 'brand positioning' is.

In other markets, the idea of swimming against the tide has more dangerous connotations. It may be a cliché to think of Far Eastern countries as being more conformist and less individualistic but, like many clichés, this is an idea grounded in truth.

All of which makes this splendid film for the Korean market more than a piece of clever marketing – this is a film which genuinely campaigns on behalf of young Koreans, who can face enormous pressure to conform to impossible standards.

Director Natalie Rae successfully depicts small acts of defiance from young athletes expected to be supine, and slowly the intensity of their rebellion grows. Nike's ability to associate themselves with this free-spiritedness will remain problematic as long as there are questions about the factories where their clobber is made, but – as is so often the way with Nike – it seems likely that the skill of those who made the spot will vanquish any thoughts of hypocrisy.

Film Production: Object & Animal Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Natalie Rae ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Ellie Fry
Executive Producer: Dom Thomas
Cinematographer: Rina Yang

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.