Thursday, June 22, 2006

English Warrior

Wayne Rooney, fists clenched, arms outstretched, celebrating a goal (or being crucified) while covered in white and red paint (or is it blood?) forming a cross on his body. Wow what an image!

Predictably, The Daily Mail has its little England knickers in a twist at this already iconic Nike ad: Nike attacked over Rooney 'warrior' picture. Then runs ANOTHER image of it as columnist, Stephen Glover, tuts and is revolted by the crusader connotations.

“This is a depiction of primitive, violent man — a bloodthirsty barbarian lifted from the dark ages.

There is an echo too, surely deliberate, of Christ's crucifixion. Rooney's arms are outstretched, as those of Christ on the cross, and his hands are half clasped, as Renaissance painters often showed the nailed hands of Christ. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nike has cynically mixed up its theology. Rooney is part Woden, the Norse god of war, part the suffering but triumphant Christ.

Why does the multinational sportswear manufacturer Nike choose to depict him in a new poster as a vicious bloodstained warrior and a sort of primitive Norse god?”
Well really Mr Glover, if you have to ask! Such shameless dissembling!

Nike is all innocence, obviously. A Nike spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the ad was not intended to have religious connotations.

"Absolutely not. It's just a celebration of Wayne and the unique way he celebrates when he scores a goal, with his arms outstretched and his fists clenched. That suggested England's flag to us. It's not intended to have religious connotations at all," she said.
Yeah right

Frankly I think it’s a damn fine "tactical execution" created by Nike's ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. The Independent calls it “the most graphic use of blood in an ad since Benetton's newborn baby", I’d agree with that and concur that it conjures up all the powerful imagery that the Mail pretends to be offended by.

As Stephen Brook in the Guardian asks “what of the official sponsorship partner? At this stage of the game they are pretty much invisible. The score is Nike 6 Adidas 0.”

Top work chaps! And where can I get a poster for the kids?


Blogger Lucy said...

Its ronney what does it. Now if they had chose a nice boy....

Fri Jun 23, 03:03:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Span Ows said...

What a bunch of pansy wankers; I thought the DM was meant to be a 'hard paper'

"Drenched in blood-red paint and screaming a war-cry, this chilling image of Wayne Rooney was last night condemned as 'offensive', 'exploitative' and 'tacky' by MPs and church groups."...oooooooooo, this was posted on the R5LUKMB and I answered there, so I apologise...didn't see it last night...make that Thursady night as it's now Saturday...and I can't sleep...and you know why....anyway, I think it's a fucking ace ad.

Sat Jun 24, 12:30:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Lucy said...

I dont know why Span, why no sleep?

Sat Jun 24, 09:30:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Span Ows said...

st. johns eve...parties, fireworks, booze and lots of noise...all enjoyed by others whilst I tried to sleep :-)

Sat Jun 24, 11:32:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Six Years Late said...

I love this image. It's a great thought and it's brilliantly executed.

Personally however yet again Honda win the World Cup ad of the tournamnt with their very simple rehash of their excellent 'impossible dream' ad. The original's here but they've added St. George's crosses and flags throughout and it's a touch of understated class

Fri Jun 30, 10:37:00 AM GMT+1  
Blogger Charlie said...

Tis I testing.

Wed Nov 29, 12:45:00 PM GMT  

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