Nike在想什麼?

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吃燒餅沒有不掉芝麻的,再好再大的公司也會出幾個白目員工,偶爾也會馬失前蹄。Nike是最新的範例。

Nike China昨天以「微博」正式發佈LeBron James將於8月訪問中國和台灣共6個城市的消息,問題是,他們在文字上就這麼大喇喇的將台北算為中國行的一站。要說小事嘛,實在也是小事,但是這觸動了兩岸間最敏感的政治神經。

尤其現在正是大選期間,馬政府什麼都不怕,最怕的就是被別人說他矮化主權、出賣台灣。在記者的詢問下,體委會副主委馬上說如果不處理,不排除拒發簽證給大帝。

我不知道Nike China是笨到看不出這種文宣有問題,還是明知故犯,吃台灣豆腐一下,抑或是被逼著要這樣說。但是Nike Taiwan在中國公佈前渾然不知,也說明這橫向聯繫(或縱向連繫,因為Nike Taiwan現在已直屬Nike「大中華區」管了)確實有點問題,Nike Taiwan大概也快昏倒了。

無巧不成書,今天好死不死又看到這新聞。

Nike faces antidrug backlash to T-shirts
PORTLAND, Ore. — Nike Inc. is being blasted for replacing its signature "Just Do It" slogan on some T-shirts with the phrases "Dope," "Get High" and "Ride Pipe."
The shoe and athletic apparel company said the terms are part of the lingo used by the skaters, snowboarders and participants in other extreme sports it’s trying to target with the shirts. But critics say the slogans endorse drug use.

Nike因為在極限運動的T-shirts印上dope、get high、ride pipe等字樣,遭反毒人士抗議,也被波士頓市長要求將衣服下架。

我覺得這些字義都很明顯,Nike理應事先會想到可能的後果,但不知什麼原因,他們還是作了,結果就真的被砲轟了。

這篇美聯社發出的報導同時指出,Nike的行銷策略一向以挑戰權威、「擦邊球」著稱,同時舉出了幾個例子。

Nike has long pushed the envelope with its products and marketing efforts. The company had an "Air Stab" line of shoes that was pulled in London in 2008 after a spate of knife deaths around that time. The company also had a series of ads for its Hyperdunk shoes that included images and slogans that some critics considered anti-gay. Nike supported the campaign at first but later withdrew the ads.

但也有人認為這不見得是件壞事,Nike向來就很擅長和消費者溝通、連結(這一點我必須承認),只是這一次連結得有些過頭了。

"I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing," said Paul Swanguard, managing director of the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. "It’s not an overt attempt to offend but it is an overt attempt to connect, which is what Nike has always done well."

或許,Nike身為一家私人商業公司,不認為自己必須背負道德上的責任。但現實世界並非如此,更何況樹大招風,Nike的招牌太響亮了,要走偏鋒不被檢視的可能性太低,要擦邊球所冒的風險太大。

回到LBJ,這不是他在和中國有關的事務上第一次出包。當年他推出的「恐懼鬥室」廣告,被中國認為有「辱華」之嫌,也鬧了好一陣子。

面對中國這種特殊的國家,面對百般敏感的兩岸議題,Nike或許應該更加審慎的處理任何跨兩岸或整合兩岸的活動與文宣才行。儘管有時爭議的發生是始料未及,但類似昨天這種顯然可以避免的錯誤,是不該有理由發生的。

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