Nike hit back at the criticism over its Euro 96 campaign this week with
a self-mocking press ad through Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson.
The black-and-white ad, which ran in the Daily Star, the Sun and the
Times, featured shots of Nike’s ill-fated Paolo Maldini and Patrick
Kluivert posters, accompanied by the line: ‘Nike would like to wish
Germany good luck. (That should do it.)’.
It is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Italy getting knocked out in the
first round, and Holland being beaten 4-1 by Terry Venables’ England
team a week ago.
Nike has suffered from similar embarrassments throughout the tournament.
Its posters have also featured Eric Cantona and David Ginola, neither of
whom were selected to play for France, as well as Les Ferdinand, who has
yet to play for England.
The latest treatment focuses on the referee, Dermot Gallagher, who had
been tipped to referee the final, but is now injured.
Nike has also carried its ‘curse’ over to other events, with Andre
Agassi, the star of its recent TV work, being thwarted by a shock defeat
in the first round of Wimbledon this week.
Robert Senior, the head of creative services at Simons Palmer, said:
‘The new press ad is a tactical ad, playing off some of the less-
positive PR that we’ve received from the campaign. We’re pretty relaxed
about the whole thing. Nike doesn’t play a percentage game. When you
back people like Eric Cantona, you have to take the rough with the
Senior added that Simons Palmer had no immediate plans to do any more
Nike ads for Euro 96, although he added: ‘We would never bury our heads
in the sand. You can’t expect Nike or Simons Palmer to know who is going
to win what match. We’ll sit back and see what happens.’