Two words have the power to capture the attention of college students across America.
I’m kidding. Sort of.
Extra credit is more like it.
You can sense the excitement in the room when the professor mentions those sacred words. You can feel the jolt of electric energy revive the room. Everyone’s ears perk up anticipating the next words, and the faces of the formerly hopeless light up at the chance to restore their
That moment happened to me during my sophomore year in SOCIO1100.
My professor graciously gave us the opportunity to submit a final paper for extra credit, given that we did not miss anymore than 2 days of class (which included being sick or taking a personal day). With an opportunity of a lifetime, I made sure to set 3 alarms on the day that I had sociology, because I was determined to have the ability to write that paper.
Finally, with the final exam and paper deadline approaching, I suddenly became flustered with the lack of ideas and direction that was given to us in regards to this extra credit. My professor made it ~VERY~ clear that we were not allowed to go to her office hours to discuss the paper, as if we were so fortunate enough to write it, then we were smart enough to figure it out on our own.
Still at a loss for what topic to write about, I began to do what I did when I was procrastinating….looking up my favorite commericals and campaigns. I stumbled upon Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign with Colin Kapernick. Now, I was not in the minority when it comes to being a fan of this campaign, as it was constantly being awarded for it’s ability to break down barriers and push the boundaries in a way that is equally compelling as it is controversial- the signature signs of a Nike ad. However, watching this piece with my newfound mindset of viewing things from the sociological prospective and combining it with my love and eye for good advertising, I was captivated by the sociology that goes being a successful campaign.
For starters, all successful campaigns have to push the boundary. The Nike/Kapernick ad does just by choosing to have Kapernick as the primary spokesperson. A person who risked their career as a professional football player to take a stand against racial injustice and police brutality, Kapernick became the face of the “Take a Knee” movement during the NFL 2016 season.
Additionally, the ad itself does a fantastic job of incorporating different and unique individuals, all from different racial backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. From a sociological aspect, the company was choosing to accurately represent the nation as a whole. From the advertising perspective, it was a genius move to promote brand loyalty and inclusivity.
Despite the commercial and campaign being one of the most talked about and controversial advertising stunts of 2018, Nike sale’s skyrocketed, and the company Weiden + Kennedy who created the ad, recieved lots of attention and awards.
I ended up finding a connection between my class and my passion…and it lead me to getting an A on the final paper and in the class.