Nike removes 'fiery conditions' from its 'tone-deaf' ad for bodysuit targeted at Australian Open players
An ad for Nike's new range of women's tennis gear drew a lot of criticisms online for its "tone deaf" campaign wordings, which promised to help Australian Open players survive the "fiery conditions" on the court. Given the devastating bushfires threatening to wipe out the natural resources of the country, the wording of the ad was considered "disrespectful."
Australian Open is set to kick off later this month in Melbourne and Nike, which hoped to cash-in on its new bodysuit campaign, had to scramble to reword the ad after facing backlash from potential customers.
"Melbourne also tracks the hottest temperatures of any of tennis' four majors. Averaging more than 100 degrees (37 degrees Celsius), the heat challenges players and, in turn, NikeCourt's apparel designers to outduel the fiery conditions," the ad read.
The poor wording of the ad prompted many to accuse the footwear brand of being "disrespectful" to the current situation Down Under. "The country is burning!!! Seriously," one user commented, while a second said, "Tone deaf to the point of disrespectful."
Yet a third wrote: "Just the raging fires burning peoples homes, displacing residents and the animals who are suffering. But oh, just wear this hideous Nike kit and all is solved."
However, there were those who defended Nike despite the "tone deaf" wording of its ad. "Yeah this is hardly a big deal... clearly just an honest mistake in the copy without latest context... and it’s all been fixed now," someone tweeted.
The words of the ad campaign were since altered to sensitively reflect the fact that the range of bodysuits will help the players in battling the temperatures in Melbourne.
"To account for the temperatures during play, NikeCourt designers developed a knee-length bodysuit for women as a baselayer. This garment is informed by Atlas body-mapping to identify the areas that tend to overheat (notably under the bra and at the neckline) and is pieced together to maximize breathability in those spaces," the commercial now says.