Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
Mine is filled with fragrant flowers. Welcome.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Ad that made Oprah Winfrey cry

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this amazing, timeless ad that, ever since it found its ways in between the pages of magazines as a pop up, has touched the hearts of many women who read it for centuries. The text was written by then 32-year old copywriter for Wieden + Kennedy, Janet Champ, who was tasked to take on Nike's campaign for women. More than anything, Champ, who started as a receptionist with the agency and worked her way up as a full-time writer, was inspired by how women always took responsibility and care for others but themselves and decided to tell them: it's time to take care of yourself too. 

The campaign was so successful that women from around the US at the time of its release started writing and reaching out to the ad makers and Nike, telling them their personal stories that have no relation to sports or Nike products whatsoever. And perhaps that is what distinguished great ads and the rest--the ability to tap into an emotion that is central to the lives of the intended audience and inspire them.  

Oh, did I tell you that Oprah Winfrey cried when she read the ad on tv for the first time? 

Reading the text as a young woman in 2015, I have to admit that it pulled some heartstrings and nearly caused me to tear up. Regardless of time, I guess, the struggle of every woman is similar, if not the same. Growing up is always a painful and difficult process, growing an identity of your own and believing in your true self is even harder. We, women are insecure creatures and the people around us can either break or make us...but we will get a hang of this delicate balance eventually, just like our mothers and other female figures we look up to in our lives. 

The full text for the ad is available below...

You were born a daughter.
You looked up to your mother.
You looked up to your father.
You looked up at everyone.

You wanted to be a princess.
You thought you were a princess.
You wanted to own a horse.
You wanted to be a horse.
You wanted your brother to be a horse.

You wanted to wear pink.
You never wanted to wear pink.

You wanted to be a Veterinarian.
You wanted to be President.
You wanted to be the President's Veterinarian.

You were picked last for the team.
You were the best one on the team.
You refused to be on the team.

You wanted to be good in algebra.
You hid during algebra.
You wanted the boys to notice you.
You were afraid the boys would notice you.

You started to get acne.
You started to get breasts.
You started to get acne that was bigger than your breasts.

You wouldn't wear a bra.
You couldn't wait to wear a bra.
You couldn't fit into a bra.

You didn't like the way you looked.
You didn't like the way your parents looked.
You didn't want to grow up.

You had your first best friend.
You had your first date.
You had your second best friend.

You had your second first date.
You spent hours on the telephone.
You got kissed.
You got to kiss back.

You went to the prom.
You didn't go to the prom.
You went to the prom with the wrong person.

You spent hours on the telephone.

You fell in love.
You fell in love.
You fell in love.

You lost your best friend.
You lost your other best friend.

You really fell in love.

You became a steady girlfriend.
You became a significant other.


Sooner or later, you start taking yourself seriously. You know when you need a break. You know when you need a rest. You know what to get worked up about and what to get rid of. And you know when it's time to take care of yourself, for yourself. To do something that makes you stronger, faster, more complete.
Because you know it's never too late to have a life. And never too late to change one.