Nike Ads Spawn More Parodies

LOS ANGELES–NBC has modified its “I can” parody promo for its Working sitcom, after drawing the ire of advertiser Nike for a spot that ran during the Super Bowl.
“We changed the copy,” said Pat Schultz, an NBC representative in Burbank, Calif. NBC had initially agreed to pull the ad out of courtesy [Adweek, Feb. 2].
In the latest version of the promotional spot, which began running last week, the voiceovers and the on-screen text omit the “I can” phrase Nike uses. Instead, a voiceover points out the various mundane abilities of the show’s characters, such as one man’s ability to sleep with his eyes open.
Schultz said the network plans to continue running the modified promo indefinitely. In addition to the spoof, NBC is airing Working promos that highlight upcoming story plots, she said.
Separately, Candie’s shoes’ new campaign, which parodies athletic footwear ads, is also running into roadblocks.
The company’s “Just screw it,” TV spots, featuring actress Jenny McCarthy, have been rejected by some major market network affiliates, according to Candie’s representative Monica Healey. “Affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Atlanta rejected the spots,” Healey said, adding that the company was told the tagline, a not so subtle reference to Nike’s “Just do it” line, is offensive. The spots broke last week.
One of the ads shows McCarthy shooting a basket ˆ la Michael Jordan. Instead of making the shot, she drops the ball mid-flight and smashes into the backboard.
“This campaign is almost trying to spoof that whole athletic commercial genre, where they take themselves very seriously,” said Candie’s creative director Dari Marder.
Candie’s initially issued a release stating that MTV had rejected the ads. An MTV representative, however, said the spots were to begin airing Feb. 25. A Candie’s representative said that MTV had reversed its decision.