Have you ever dreamed of being a professional athlete, donning your jersey colors while singing victory songs with crowds of fans? The following Nike video captures the dreams of countless aspiring youth (including my former self) and is persuasive by aligning audience motivation with exciting media effects and realistic content:
First, in terms of motivation, this video is all about hope for young boys. The hope of getting noticed and climbing ranks to be on the world stage for the first time. The hope of being a star, partying with beautiful women, and the list goes on. I would explain more but feel I’m doing an injustice to the hope that drives so much devotion and talent year after year.
Secondly, this video utilizes a first-person perspective, filled with video game shaking effects and explosive pacing to keep you aroused. If we measured the biofeedback of viewers with measures like skin-conductance, heart deceleration, and alpha suppression, the effects would be overwhelmingly significant.* The structural features of this video (cuts, edits, movement, flashes of light, and sound) effectively illicit orienting responses (ORs) to keep your attention. If you’ve played soccer before, these ORs are automatically amplified even more, getting you ready for game-like competition without even leaving your computer screen.
Finally, the content of this video is filled with some of the best players in the world. For two minutes you’re playing with actual super stars who millions of people love (there are psychological implications for this realism that I will leave out for the sake of brevity), not stunt doubles or graphics. Nike makes you viscerally feel the classic story arch of a new athlete experiencing a range of emotions from climatic highs after scoring goals to painful throw-up.
After watching this, who doesn’t want to buy in to this Nike soccer dream?
Lang, A., Bolls, P., Potter, R, & Kawahara, K. (1999). The Effects of Production Pacing and Arousing Content on the Information Processing of Television Messages, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol. 43(4), 451-475.
Reeves, B., Lang, A., Kim, E., & Tatar, D., (1999). The Effects of Screen Size on Message Content on Attention and Arousal. Media Psychology, 1, 49-67.
Simons, R. F., Detenber, B. H., Roedema, T.M., & Reiss, J.E. (1999). Emotion processing in three systems: The Medium and the message. Psychophysiology, 36, 619-627.