Nick Kyrgios’ Nike Australia ad draws criticism for making light of mental illness

Is this Nick Kyrgios ad making light of mental illness? Some people online seem to think so.

Nike Australia posted an advertisement starring the hot-headed tennis star, featuring animated dark clouds and rain obstructing Kyrgios. The tagline for the advert reads “Dark clouds never got in the way of talent.”

AdFreak notes the advertisement’s received backlash from some who suggest the ad is using mental illness as a selling point. The tweet received responses suggesting it was “disgusting” to say “dark clouds never got in the way of talent.”

Mental illness is understandably a sensitive subject, especially when used in advertisements. But was Nike Australia referring to Kyrgios’ mental health or his hot temper? I believe the latter, but their approach could’ve been much better.

It appears the issue is more about the tagline than the actual picture. Dark clouds can be easily perceived as talking about personal, mental health struggles. To say that Kyrgios never let them get in the way of his athletic talent is sort of messed up – if you interpret it that way. But, again, if it’s referring to anger, I understand what they’re trying to say. The ad could be phrased much, much better. Mental illness is a serious issue. Hopefully, Nike Australia understands that and the ad is just a poor choice of words.



About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.