Thurbon ponders meaning of greatness

In an era when a typical television commercial contains annoying jingles about great jeans, school supplies and credit reports, people usually find Nike commercials to be more than just one notch above the rest.

Nike launched a new advertising campaign during the recent Olympic Games, and while there are always controversies during the Olympics, those controversies usually involve athletes’ performances and attitudes or the judges’ marks.

This year however, a small controversy arose over one of the Nike commercials. This commercial didn’t have the customary Nike tagline of “Just Do It” but of “Find Your Greatness.”

“Greatness” is often associated with Olympians, so Nike choosing a 5-foot 3-inch, 200-pound boy named Nathan to be in its latest commercial has raised some eyebrows.

In the commercial, Nathan is shown silhouetted against a country sky as he shuffles down a deserted country road. Nathan runs and runs, clearly exhausted, as a narrator speaks of greatness in a revered tone, informing the audience that “We’re all capable of it. All of us.”

While some might think this is an interesting theory to launch during the Olympics where the world’s best athletes compete to see who is the greatest, others have expressed feelings of disgust for the commercial.

Some have argued that not only is Nike exploiting people who are overweight, but also claiming that being overweight automatically means you are lazy.

Before people get in a frenzy over a commercial, let’s face it, it really is only meant to inspire people to buy Nike products. Let’s consider the fact that Nike might not have been saying that fat means lazy. Perhaps Nike was trying to convey that effort is what makes you great.

While it’s obvious that not everyone is going to be an Olympian or a world class chef or a Nobel prize winner, that doesn’t mean one can’t achieve greatness.

All too often people become discouraged because they are not the best at something, whether that be playing a sport, having knowledge of subject in school or even accomplishing a simple skill. This commercial is demonstrating how that doesn’t matter. Effort is what makes you great. Aspiring to be more than what you are makes you great.

The idea that greatness is something everyone is capable of instead of greatness being a rare gift reserved for the chosen few is something we should all learn.

Now Nathan, who has been inspired through his experience filming the Nike commercial to continue exercising even though he has proclaimed that he hates running, can be an inspiration to people just like Olympians are.

The lesson to learn from Nathan is that no matter how much you weigh, what your IQ is or how strong you are, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your own greatness.


GL0 4 years, 7 months ago

Great article, Katie! I personally LOVE that commercial. It speaks volumes, because there IS an inner greatness we are ALL capable of achieving. It's just a matter of wanting to find it. Keep it up!


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