Colin Kaepernick's Nike commercial is a big hit with consumers, according to industry group

Charles Robinson
NFL columnist

The videos of burning sneakers and mutilated socks. The social-media echo chamber of fury and snarky Nike memes. And, of course, President Donald Trump’s inevitable Twitter firebomb – as reliable as the sunrise. If you were seeking anger over the union of the shoe giant and Colin Kaepernick, the Internet provided a seemingly inexhaustible buffet of offerings the past several days.

But according to a leading advertisement consulting service, Kaepernick’s first commercial registered as a big hit with consumers. The “Dream Crazy” ad scored high marks with a broad base of the consumer population, according to Ace Metrix, a company that provides real-time impact and analysis data surrounding major advertisements.

The commercial – featuring Kaepernick urging viewers to “dream crazy” and “believe in something” – registered in the 10th percentile of Ace Metrix’s “polarity” score. In layman’s terms, it means that 90 percent of advertisements traced by Ace Metrix were found to be more polarizing among viewers. That’s significant, considering Ace Metrix boasts having tracked over 2,500 brands and more than 80,000 advertisements since 2010.

A large billboard stands on top of a Nike store showing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick at Union Square, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, in San Francisco. An endorsement deal between Nike and Colin Kaepernick prompted a flood of debate Tuesday as sports fans reacted to the apparel giant backing an athlete known mainly for starting a wave of protests among NFL players of police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues. (AP)

According to data released by Ace:

• ” ‘Dream Crazy’ saw strong resonance among [Generation] Z and Millennial audiences [on average, Ace Scores were 33% above norm],” the company said in a statement Thursday. “Older viewers, those among [Generation] X, positively regarded the ad as well, but to a lesser degree than those younger than them.”

• Ace Metrix polled consumers on how Kaepernick’s signing would impact their plans to spend money with Nike. Thirteen percent of those surveyed said they were less likely to purchase from Nike after viewing Kaepernick’s first ad. That percentage was down to 10 percent among millennials and 6 amongst Generation Z. Conversely, a staggering 56 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to purchase from Nike after seeing the commercial.

• Ace Metrix analysis suggested Kaepernick’s first commercial with Nike had a positive reaction on par with the apparel company’s recent tribute ad to Serena Williams, who is considered one of the crown jewel endorsers for the company. Both the Kaepernick ad and the recent tribute commercial for Williams scored very highly with consumers in positive reaction and resulting likelihood of purchasing Nike products.

“These results show once again that oftentimes, social-media backlash can be amplified by media attention while representing only a small minority of haters,” Ace Metrix CEO Peter Daboll said in a statement. “Nike is to be commended for executing the messaging so well in this ad. Most objections to such a polarizing figure as Kaepernick were tempered by the very strong likeability of that message across age, gender and ethnicity.”

The positive impact of Kaepernick’s advertisement wasn’t the only good news for Nike, either. Apex Marketing – which analyzes the value of social-media impact on brands – reported that in the first three days after the announcement of Kaepernick as a spokesperson, Nike reaped “buzz” mentions that equated to $163.5 million in value. Which means Nike would have had to have doled out that much money to receive the same kind bang it received from the Kaepernick announcement.

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