Nike’s in-your-face Hyperdunk ads rejected

Following up on Gianatasio's post not for the easily offended … Nike has pulled three ads for Hyperdunk Basketball shoes amid criticism that they are homophobic. The print ads, part of a larger campaign by Wieden + Kennedy, have images of basketball players slam-dunking over other players in a way that brings the dunker’s crotch into the personal space of the other player’s face. In other words, their junk is all up on some dude’s mouth. The headlines of the three axed ads are “That ain’t right,” “Isn’t that cute,” and “Punks jump up.” Nike (of course) says the ads weren’t meant to be offensive. Its press release states that the ads were “based purely upon a common insight from within the game of basketball—the athletic feat of dunking on the opposition, and is not intended to be offensive.” Wieden has already removed the three executions from its blog, but that hasn’t stopped people there from continuing to comment on them. Wanna see the other two pulled ads, huh, punk? I got your executions right here.

—Posted by Rebecca Cullers