Article by Sarah Booth | esPResso Committee Member
This past Valentine’s Day was a step in the right direction for the sportswear company Adidas as they achieved a new record for amount of “likes” and comments in response to a single photo posted to Instagram®.
The photo was not about sportswear, sports, exercise or even athletes.
The photo (featured below) is of two women’s legs facing each other, toe to toe, in matching blue and pink Adidas running shoes. The woman on the right is pushing up on her toes to imply the cliché kiss of one short and one taller partner. Charming and heartfelt, the caption reads: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.”
Within hours, the post took over Instagram and was all over the web. It also became a battleground littered with hateful and homophobic posts:
“Shame on you,” wrote user Americanhero123. “I’m going to Nike now.” And, “WTF Adidas???? This day is for boy and girl … not for lesbians,” wrote user Azemann.
Positioning the brand above the hate, Adidas responded to the first comment with a kiss and a wave emoji, then responded to the second one with, “No, this day is for LOVE. Happy Valentine’s Day.” And directly tagged the hateful writers.
Even when Adidas stopped replying directly to comments on the day it was posted, the mix of insulting posts dropped as Instagram users praised Adidas with a wave of heart emojis and #Lovewins.
Several days later, the post is still being noticed, with more than 159,000 comments and an Adidas record of 283,000 “likes.” Not only is this post the most commented picture on the company’s profile, it’s most liked by more than 50,000 people.
As the world continues to struggle to truly accept LGBT and the simple and deeply personal differences between people, Adidas decided to show the love and gained some advocates and admirers at the same time. Plus the shoes are cute, too.