Analysing Nike’s “My Butt Is Big” Advertisement
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The text is an advertisement, by the Nike Corporation, that endorses women’s sporting products. The tenor consists of an assertive, satisfied and self-assured woman whom boasts confidently of her own “butt”. Consequently, the mode of the text can be both spoken and written, as the voice of the woman speaks colloquially, using everyday language.
At first glance, readers may identify the emphasis on the words “my butt is big”, as the words are enlarged and bolded. Their attention may shift towards the female model (whom is dressed in sportswear) to confirm whether or not that is the case. Some readers may be surprised to find that the model is not the stereotypical, stick-skinny woman whom the mainstream media commonly depicts. Alternatively, the model proudly shows off her curves, including her bottom, in the advertisement. This avant-garde advertisement may appeal to the implied readers because it stands out amongst the masses of commercials. As opposed to the conventional advertisements that focus on women’s superficial appearances, this Nike commercial may strike to readers as a unique advertisement as it promotes pride in healthy body figures.
The woman’s description of her own backside has a poetic structure – the lines do not consist of complete sentences, but instead, are composed of phrases. Moreover, the outline of the text bends and turns, as a way to accentuate the woman’s curves. This perhaps underlines the speaker’s strong self-esteem and self-worth. The speaker begins with the analogy, “Round like the letter ‘C’, And ten thousand lunges, Has made it rounder, But not smaller, And thats just fine.” The speaker compares her butt to the letter “C” through intertextuality. The simile creates an efficacious image in the readers’ minds, as they can associate the curve in the letter “C” with the contour of the speaker’s butt.
The choice in diction and expressions makes the tone of the text witty and amusing. Readers can identify an authoritative and powerful voice in between the lines of the speaker’s speech. The metaphors, “It’s my embassador, To those who walk behind me” and “It’s a Border collie, That herds skinny women, Away from the best deals, At clothing sales” humorously create an image of control and superiority. They accentuate the advantages to having a voluptuous backside as opposed to having a non-existent one. It may also be worth noticing that there is an intended grammatical error in the reiterated phrase “And thats just fine”. The missing apostrophe may be insinuating that this advertisement does not abide to the rules, just as it defies the stereotypical ways of defining female beauty.
However, this advertisement may only appeal to the implied readers. The targeted audience range is adolescent to adult females, especially ones whom are concerned with their body image. The implied readers are also required to understand expressions such as “Border collie” and have the ability to afford Nike products. Although it may be considered sexist and thus appeal to an even smaller audience, most if not all consumers may find humor in the advertisement through the form of language and imagery. Actual readers may not find the advertisement particularly effective but nonetheless entertaining. All in all, this may serve as an advertisement deemed as inspirational to young women, and humorous to the rest of the consumer base.