Baby Got Back But Where’s The Copy?

Steve Hall of Adrants makes available a new ad from Nike that celebrates big butts. Given that Nike is a fitness company, one might think this approach incongruous. But from a strategic point-of-view, it makes sense to be inclusive of all body types. Sadly, from a creative execution point-of-view, this ad needs work.
Here’s the worst copy sequence from the ad:
My butt is big…
It’s a border collie
That herds skinny women
Away from the best deals
At clothing sales
Tyree left this comment on Adrants, which pretty much sums it up:

I like the ad in principle. Too bad the copy’s overwrought and overwritten – a pallid echo of the great stuff they used to do a decade or so ago.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. What have you to say about the use of negative space in the ad? Line length of the copy?
    Do this. Take the ad into your imaging program invert it and see if things look different. Command + it if you have to.
    Oh yea…
    I wrote similar copy to that ad back in July for my student portfolio and put it out on the internet. It’s not so poetic as the ad.

  2. I’m not an art director, but I generally love white space in an ad. In this case, I think the ad looks great (as does most everything that comes out of W+K), I just don’t find the copy enjoyable, poetic, nor persuasive.

  3. I like the copy.
    A lot.
    But I’m an art director. What do I know.
    And my ass is small.

  4. Sometimes people (not you) don’t notice white space so that’s why I suggested the inverse.
    The copy I wrote is down below, but the visual would have had to be less perfect than the one in the W + K ad. It’s still in rough draft and my target market was a bit different. Course, I can’t do the proper typography in this space either. Unless of course it was…
    …won’t let that out of the box.
    Food and Exercise Journal:
    July 24, 2005
    orange juice, eggs, baguette, peach…
    Now as you know, I’m off on my bike. I can’t race, but at least I get my exercise. So even if I know I’m a slowpoke on my bike, I still do it. Young kids, though, if they know they ain’t got the genes, the feet, the heart, the whatever to win… well, why do the physical exertion. There’s always virtual. Maybe some will understand the implications of this and being drug to do something.
    Not pushing too hard today. Too hot. No need to.
    … a triathlete body looks kinda manly to me. Dang, I may have big hips, but they are a woman’s big hips.

  5. Where are you going with this Nancy?

  6. I’ve got a border collie. And in no way are they comparable to a Big Butt.

  7. With that ride..I was going to the swimming pool.
    A couple of ideas.
    The first, but not necessarily the primary:
    Sports is so much aimed at the athletic, that many just don’t do it. While athletes are performing at higher levels than ever before, the inverse is that people are also performing at lower levels than ever before.
    Lance did it, but have you ever looked at the bike racks at the local middle school? Fairly empty while the drive up/drop off is full. Why?

  8. has anyone seen all the ads? The swimming one is particularly stupid to me. And the man thing. Ugh. Big shoulders and saving someone? Well, maybe a little, but still. Saving someone is an entirely different principle. A tiny perfect size 6 could save a huge person. Did these people at Nike talk to life guards? Or did they make this stuff up.

  9. Baby Got Back But Where\’s The Copy?

    We found this blog entry very interesting so we’ve added a Trackback to it on our site.

  10. This all sounds like the pitch to Nike from Mel Gibson’s “What Women Want” movie.

  11. So nineties. Copy is pretty cheesy too. So old and dated, the whole ‘woman power train-of-thought’ thing we’ve heard countless times over.. Like a bad ape of Janet Champ’s original work. Isn’t there a more real, believable way in?

  12. As a big fan of Champ and her totally original work for Nike, it makes it particularly hard to view these ads.

  13. suddenwaffle says:

    Don’t know about the ads, but nice @ss.