We’ve seen examples of “underdog” advertising before. Apple’s “1984” could be called the start, although maybe it was the Marlboro Man. Underdog advertising reminds us of antiheroes, and little guys giving it to the man. There’s no doubt Nike is opportunistic, but the message itself lacks the sincerity of, say, “Think Different.” Maybe what Nike should have done is a campaign called “Thanks for the heroics,” which would thank all the underdogs who at least tried to make a difference. We still need heroes—or even antiheroes—these days, regardless of whether it’s opportunistic or not. We lost John Wayne, we lost John McCain, we’re really short on heroes, or as Little Feat used to say, “Time Loves A Hero.” We’re in a time of too few.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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