Nike features pregnant and breastfeeding athletes in ad for new maternity line

The brand is the latest to depict motherhood more authentically

Published On
Mar 15, 2021

Editor's Pick

Nike's new spot for new maternity line Nike (M) features pregnant and breastfeeding athletes, and it's markedly different from any ad you've seen from the brand before.

Following hard on the heels of several other commercials depicting breastfeeding women in a more authentic and open way, including campaigns from Tommee Tippee, Frida Mom and Maltesers, the spot depicts more than 20 mothers in various stages of pregnancy as well as postpartum. 

"Can you be an athlete? You, pregnant?" begins the voiceover, by actor Kiziana Jean-Louis.

The ad then shows the women taking part in a range of sports from athletics to surfing, tennis, yoga and weightlifting. Famous sport stars including Serena Williams, Alex Morgan, Perri Edwards, Bianca Williams, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Nia Ali appear alongside everyday female athletes. Intermixed are scenes of women engaging in sport, lifting their babies, practicing with their children (Williams is pictured playing tennis with daughter Alexis). In one scene, Aurelie Louis-Alexandre, the co-founder of Flawless Yoga, is shown pumping milk for her baby.

The spot was created and produced by Wieden & Kennedy London and was compiled from more than 22 hours of footage shot by the mothers, their friends and families during the pandemic. Each respective shoot was directed via Zoom. Trim Editorial handled the edit.

The spot debuted on Instagram and is running online globally. It promotes Nike (M), Nike's maternity line which began rollout in September 2020. Already available in North America, Europe and Africa, it will be released in select Asia Pacific and Latin American markets beginning late 2021.

Nike has come a long way since 2019, when its attitude towards pregnant athletes was heavily criticized after a New York Times opinion piece written by Olympic track athlete Allyson Felix, who was formerly sponsored by Nike, went viral. There was a public outcry and later that year, Nike announced a new maternity policy for all sponsored athletes.

On her part, Felix herself promoted the ad on Twitter, noting, "It reminds mothers that they are athletes. It celebrates mothers. It speaks truth. It’s powerful. It’s brilliant marketing. I agree with every word in this ad." She added, however, "I also think you should watch this ad so that you will hold Nike accountable for it. ... It was also hard to watch. My experience, along with many others, forced NIKE to support athlete's maternity, and when I watch this ad, it doesn’t seem to acknowledge that war."



Mar 15, 2021
Client :
Nike (M)
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy-London
Tony Davidson
Iain Tait
Creative Director :
Paddy Treacy
Design Director :
Aaron Skipper
Lead Creatives London :
Molly Wilkof
Lead Creatives London :
Derek Lui
Creative PDX :
Jordan Dinwiddie
Head of Production :
James Guy
Producer :
Anna Neilson
Global Strategy Director :
Paula Bloodworth
Planning Director :
Brian Ritter
Planner :
Rachel Holden
Comms Planning Director :
Anjali Patel
Group Account Director :
Amber Martin
Account Director :
Holly Baker-Cliff
Account Manager :
Jordie Wildin
Editor :
Vid Price
Edit Assistant :
Jennifer Trividad
Edit Producer :
Polly Kemp
Edit House :
Trim Editorial
VFX Company :
Time Based Arts
VFX Producer :
Chris Aliano
VFX Supervisor :
Luke Todd
VFX Supervisor :
Ollie Ramsey
VFX Artist :
Matt Shires
VFX Artist :
Will Robinson
Colorist :
Lewis Crossfield
Sound Company :
Sound Designer :
Sam Ashwell
Sound Designer :
Mark Hellaby
Head of Production :
Mary-Ann D’Cruz
Head of Production :
Martin Critchley
Music Company :
Walker Music
Music Supervisor / Producer :
Sara Matarazzo
Music Supervisor / Producer :
Abbey Hickman
Composer :
Patrick Cannell

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