Advertisment: Find the Greatness and Weakness

Categories: AdvertisingPropaganda

In the 2012 Nike “Find your greatness” ad, they use what Donna Woolfolk Cross calls “Glittering generalities” and “Plain Folks Appeal”. The ad was released during the time of 2012 London Olympic Games, it has drawn tons of attention from the audiences and social medias. Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” campaign carries a powerful motivational message that inspires people to achieve their own moment of greatness in life. It is not a commercial vulgar ad that we often reach in life, conversely, the ad is laudable and thought-provoking and also gains reputation for its brand, which is very smart and successful.

In such a competitive world, the successful of this ad shows us that people are not intoxicated on sex, violence, models or celebrities with hot bodies. Controversy, they love Nike’s idea, an ad with good faith are much more important. American advertising needs to follow the example of this ad in order to promote their products efficiently in a healthy, vitalized and inspirited way.

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Who is the kid in that Nike "Find your greatness” ad, the overweight boy shown slowly jogging down what looks like a lonely country road at dawn? His name is Nathan Sorrell, twelve years old boy from Ohio, according to a report in his hometown newspaper, the Record Herald.

Nathan is 5-foot-3-inches tall, weighs 200 pounds and was found in a Nike scouting session at his school. They use the propaganda strategy what Cross calls “Plain folks Appeal”. It is smart to choose a kid to be the main focus on the ad.

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“Plain folks” is the device by which a speaker tries to win our confidence and support by appearing to be a person like ourselves.” An overweight kid represents the lower side in the society. They may bully by others and get lack of acceptance. As “Find Your Greatness” seeks to inspire everyone in their own personal achievements, it is extremely encouraging to the teens. It is because teens are right in an age on seeking for self-worth and affirmation. Some of them aim to get good score in school; some of them aim to be a social famous in school, some of them aim to play a higher spot in the sport team. Their emotions are very sensitive at this moment and getting approval from their parents, friends and teachers are very important. This ad brings hope to them and encourages them to find their own greatness. According to Nike’s official website, “Greatness is not some rare DNA in a strand. It's not some precious thing. Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing.

We're all capable of it. All of us.” Teens would love their point of view “Greatness” and they would love to know more about this brand. According to Schlosser ‘s “Kid Kustomers”, he mentioned that “Hoping that nostalgic childhood memories of a brand will lead to a lifetime of purchases, companies now plan “cradle to grave” advertising strategies.” This ad is definitely a great start of the process. As long as they gain the approval of the teens, it would certainly greater their volume of sales. The slogan of “Find Your Greatness” is simply written at the center of the ad, very straightforward but enlightenment. The word “Greatness” is using the propaganda strategies that Donna Woolfolk Cross talks about, which is “Glittering Generalities”. The ad makes us realize everyone has their greatness; it is not some rare DNA in a strand; it is no more unique to us than breathing, we are all capable of it, all of us.

According to Cross’s “Propaganda: How Not to Be Bamboozled”, he mentioned that “Glittering generalities work by stirring our emotions in the hope that this will cloud our thinking. Another approach that propaganda users are to create a distraction, a “red herring,” that will make people forgets or ignores the real issues.” Even though there is not any background of Nike or product information included on the ads, people would be distracted by its propaganda strategy and believe Nike is a good brand for them to use on reaching their goal on the field of sport. This is a good thing and also a bad thing. It is a good advertisement because it has conquered the field, but to the customers, they have to do more searching in order to find out if Nike is truly providing them suitable products with good quality or not.

In conclusion, Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” ad is a good trend of advertisement. It brings out good effects on people and also being positive. It did not parade sexual and violence, or provides any fake information. On the contrary, people can feel the authority and power to the story, in all sincerity. As the world is still progressing, so the means of advertisement are also increasing. Big posters are hanged on the walls, and handbills are distributed to advance the sale of goods. Walls are painted and big signboards are displayed on crossings to serve this purpose. To be a sharp-sighted customer, we have to be aware of the propaganda strategies of the advertisement in order to distinguish the greatness and weakness of the brand and products and make the right choice. American advertisement’s future development is based on our decision, our choice of consumption.

Works Cited

1. Donna Woolfolk. “Propaganda How Not to be Bamboozled.” Documbase. 7 Jan. 2013.1-8 PDF

2. Pozner, Jennifer L. “ Dove’s Real Beauty” Backlash.” Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. Boston Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. 219-221. Print

3. Schlosser, Eric. “Kid Kustomers.” Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon. 7th ed. Boston Bedford/ St. Martin’s , 2012. 222-226 Print 4. Nike 2012 Find Your Greatness Print Advertisement July. 2012 Web

5. “Best Olympics Commercial: Nike’s Find Your Greatness Jogger” July 31st 2012

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
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Advertisment: Find the Greatness and Weakness. (2017, Jan 20). Retrieved from

Advertisment: Find the Greatness and Weakness essay
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