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25 February 2019

Competitive... not angry.

by Jason Stone

Nike: “Dream Crazier” - 90s

Serena Williams - who narrates this commercial for Nike - is not unfamiliar with some of the accusations it tackles. Successful women don't just have to overcome the competition, they have to overcome a whole series of prejudices that men of the same ilk never face.

When Williams blew up at the umpire during the US Open final last year, she faced all the usual tropes about 'angry black women'. That's not to say she didn't deserve to be criticised for her conduct - it was genuinely out of order - but much of the opprobrium which came her way went well beyond anything a male player might have expected in similar circumstances.

This makes Williams the perfect messenger for this film which examines the habit of marginalising women who achieve greatness in sport. Attributes which are considered immensely positive in male sport are frowned upon when they are attached to women who are expected instead to strike a perfect balance between strength, femininity, grace, politeness and magnanimity in defeat.

Somesuch's Kim Gehrig, who directed this film, and the company's co-founder Sally Campbell are also familiar with the unfair prejudice faced by women in the highly competitive world of advertising. They were monstered by the tabloid press and on social media after making the recent Gillette ad which encouraged men to be the best version of themselves. It must have been quite redemptive for them to make this film after all that criticism, and to be able to align themselves with heroic women like Kathy Switzer who had to force her way past an official who tried to stop her running the Boston Marathon in 1967. Switzer and the other women in this film have had to fight all the way for success and this is a terrific celebration of their achievements.

Creative: Emma Barnett ♀
Film Production: Somesuch Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Kim Gehrig ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Suzie Greene Tedesco
Managing Director: Sally Campbell / Tim Nash
Executive Producer: Nicky Barnes
Cinematographer: James Laxton

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.