Nike featured a plus-size model recently; here's why
Sports brand Nike made it to the headlines recently after its Instagram post featured a plus-size model Paloma Elesser. The ad sported the model wearing a Nike sports bra and leggings.
This is the first time that the sporting brand has embraced the 'big is beautiful' concept in their communication, which is a huge shift from its usual marketing language which, like many other sporting brands, focuses on 'thin is beautiful', featuring atheletes, sports stars and celebrities.
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So far, Elesser is the only exception on Nike's Instagram page. So why has Nike suddenly changed its advertising voice? The answer to that is money.
According to an ABC News report, the plus-size women's market in the US alone, was estimated to be worth $17.5 billion in 2014. This segment, especially in womens-wear. is expected to grow to $22.3 billion by 2017. The average woman in the US today is a size 14 (plus-sizes are considered between size 14 and 34), says a Business Insider report.
Given the stats, this is a market Nike can no longer afford to ignore, a segment that many US media reports suggest remains ignored to a large extent.
In India, the plus-size clothing market is estimated to contribute $1.8 billion annually, a Technopak report said. A medical journal, The Lancet, said, there are around 46 million overweight people in India, and the number is steadily growing. This reveals a huge potential for clothing brands.
Back to Nike Instagram post, its new stance received applause from several people, the company was also subjected to criticism from some, who were quick to point out that the brand does not actually sell clothing for plus-sized women.
One comment read, “Great to see you using a real woman, just sad your sizes don't represent it. I'm a 28 E/F (depending on brand) but have to settle for a 32 D in this bra.”