A Rhetorical Analysis Of Nike, Inc.

Topics: Marketing, Brand, Advertising Pages: 5 (1242 words) Published: February 23, 2016


Nike, Inc. has traditionally been a brand suited for competitive athletes, with its origins rooted in selling athletic shoes, but eventually expanded to sell clothing and gear to athletes and non-athletes alike. Nike has adapted its advertisement campaigns to reach its eclectic audience by sponsoring globally renowned athletes such as Lance Armstrong. Despite the fact that cyclists are in the minority in society, the campaigns involving Lance Armstrong have been particularly persuasive, proving that though a viewer may not have a direct athletic kinship to a celebrity endorser, he may still be greatly influenced by the celebrity’s advertisement message. By focusing on Armstrong’s public revelation of stage three testicular cancer, this advertisement...

In the early 2000s, when this ad was first published, Lance Armstrong was at the height of his fame for doing the impossible in two different realms: overcoming what appeared to be a fatal diagnosis of cancer, and subsequently winning numerous Tour de France races after his cancer treatment was finished. Nike elicited the grandeur of Armstrong’s respected status in society to promote its brand. In contrast to this valiant glory, Nike was undergoing a firestorm of public denouncement and criticism amidst a sweatshop scandal. Outcries over Nike’s use of factories that use sweatshop labor and pay wages below subsistence levels caused many groups to insist that sports teams, universities, and stores sell other brands besides Nike that don’t use unethical practices. Nike utilized the ad and the ethos and credibility of Armstrong’s pristine character to appease its desperate need of positive publicity and to re-establish its public image. Nike’s use of yellow and black themed lettering and texts display the company’s sympathetic view towards cancer, and remind the audience of the major support Nike had given to the LiveStrong foundation. The rhetorical exigence of Nike’s need to affirm its preeminent status was solved by connecting Armstrong’s beloved appeal to Nike’s signature slogan, logo, and company as a...
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