A video campaign launched by Samsung has been slammed widely across social media after depicting a woman running freely at night.
The voiceover says: “’Sleep at night. Run faster, push harder, follow the herd’ – not for me. I run on a different schedule – mine.”
All well and good of course, except for the glaring issue that women across the world still face significant threats of violence, rape and murder if they indeed choose actions like this.
In the ad, the female runner can be seen interacting with an array of people during her run, including a cyclist, a person at a bus stop, someone on the side of road and a group of party-goers.
Women across Twitter called out the ad as promoting a false and dangerous narrative, and further emphasis was drawn to exacerbated racial threats given the female runner depicted is Black.
Sahra-Isha Muhammad-Jones, the founder and head of partnerships of Asra running club, told The Guardian: “There seems to be an unawareness of how unsafe it is for women running at this time. As a woman who is running, it’s not safe already, but as a Black Muslim woman, it’s even more unsafe. This advert felt like what would happen in an ideal world.”
“It can be triggering for women watching this advert and then having to come to terms with what is actually happening in reality to women in this country.”
Other commentators on social media suggested the ad was likely created by a male team, obtuse to the real stakes at hand.
While others noted their dreams of having such a freedom become reality.
Samsung said: “The Night Owls campaign was designed with a positive message in mind: to celebrate individuality and freedom to exercise at all hours.
“It was never our intention to be insensitive to ongoing conversations around women’s safety. As a global company with a diverse workforce, we apologise for how this may have been received.”