While the Oscar winners stole the show,The 91st Academy Awards will be remembered for yet another person this year — 23 times Gran Slam winner Serena Williams.
The star tennis player has collaborated with Nike for an advertisement that features a number of trailblazing women in sports and is written as a tribute to 'crazy women'. Lending her voice to the video's narration, Williams says that throughout history, strong, independent and successful women have been put down as 'crazy' or 'hysterical' or typecast as 'angry' if they are stern and weird if they are extraordinary.
But to make the point, Williams goes on to say that at a time, women running a marathon or boxing was considered crazy. she asks women to embrace the crazy and in the end tells them to show the world what crazy can do instead of treatin it as an affront.
The powerful ad's tagline is "It's only crazy until you do it", a play on Nike's world-famous 'Just Do It'. All through the ad, visuals of women in sports including stars such as former WNBA protege Lisa Leslie, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles among others. Titled "Dream Crazier", the ad premiered at the Oscars on Sunday night to massive applause which soon spread to social media.
I'm bawling, considering all the people who told me it was crazy to want to be a nurse since I'm hearing impaired. I'm graduating with my nursing degree in 3 months. Thank you ladies for inspiring me and showing me crazy dreams aren't so crazy after all. @nike— Tori 💜sTaylor. USWNT⚽NWSL⚽💜 (@TBPandTSwiftfan) February 24, 2019
i am crying hard after watching the new nike ad like THAT is marketing— shelbs (@shelbyadams22) February 25, 2019
Meanwhile, Williams, who returned to play just months after giving birth to a baby, appeared at the Oscar ceremony wearing a stunning red gown and inspired all with a moving speech.
With the discourse on feminism and equality evolving, especially on social media, several companies have started experimenting with gender-positive messaging in their advertisements. Recently, Gillette, a brand synonymous with all things male, launched a controversial advertisement attacking toxic masculinity. While many called the ad groundbreaking, critics said that they did not want to be "lectured" on feminism by their razors. However, it did trigger worldwide conversation about the way men are raised and how some of those ways ae toxic.
Gender is not the only controversial topic that made it into powerful but equally controversial ads. Nike itself faced massive backlash last year after it featured American activist and football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who faced discrimination in NFL following President Donald Trump's attack on his protests against black oppression in the US.