Aug 14 2012


Does Nike's 'Greatness' Ad Exploit Fat People? TIME 

Nathan Sorrell, a middle-school student from London, Ohio, is 12 years old, 5-ft.-3-in. tall and weighs 200 lbs. He’s likely one of the last people you’d think Nike would laud in an ad campaign.

we’re all capable of it. All of us.”

The message is pretty clear. Human will — in this case Nathan’s apparent desire to get fit — is a thing of incredible power. 

He was instructed to jog behind a Porsche outfitted with a boom and camera. On the second take, a problem arose. The lunch Sorrell had eaten about an hour before didn’t stay down.

“I got sick in a ditch,” he admitted.

My brother, a triathlete and the person who called the ad to my attention, was impressed with the ad’s message. “Cool Nike spot,” he commented. Of the more than 960,000 people who’ve watched the clip on YouTube, many have called it “inspiring” and “amazing.” One viewer commented: “Best commercial out for a while, props to Nike.”

Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity praised Nike for demonstrating “its commitment to demystify myths about overweight and obese people.”

“By featuring an overweight boy in their ad (and doing so in a respectful manner), Nike challenges the stereotype that overweight youth are inactive, and shows that body size has nothing to do with a person’s ambition or ability to push themselves to achieve their goals,” Puhl wrote in an email. “It also shows the importance of respecting individuals who are trying to improve their health through physical activity, regardless of what their body size is.”

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