In a country where men dominate the world of sports, Nike's new ad plans to break the glass ceiling. Featuring a cast of strong, determined female athletes, "Da Da Ding" has already scored over 3 million views on YouTube and won the hearts of people around the world.
Former national badminton player and actress Deepika Padukone stars in the ad along with national hockey player Rani Rampal, surfer Ishita Malaviya, sprinter Shweta Hakke and cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Shubhlakshmi Sharma. Together they make the ultimate girl squad, ready to break down all the barriers that can stop women from pursuing their athletic dreams.
"Everything I am today, and everything I have achieved, comes from my years of playing sports," Pakudone tells Ad Weekly. My goals, my commitment, my focus, my dedication, my discipline, my sacrifices, my hard work ... I've learned it all through sport. Sport has also taught me how to handle failure and success. It has taught me how to fight. It has made me unstoppable!" The young actress comes from a family of talented athletes and is set to make her Hollywood debute in xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Nike has received a lot of appraisals by deciding to feature female athletes in their first ad in India. This is especially important because women in sports receive little to no media attention, compared to their male counterparts in India. Even Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg agrees, saying that it's "great to see Nike showcasing women's strength" and "celebrating the strength and power of India's women athletes."
Women in India don't always have easy access to sports in school or college. Professional opportunities can be even more rare, as families from poor or middle class backgrounds tend to discourage girls from pursuing activities outside of tradition. Ads like this are a great way to reassure women that sports are in fact for everyone, regardless of the social taboos that might try to persuade them otherwise.
Watch the powerful ad below.