Nike has featured Kobe in an ad. My question is why? Can he really make a comeback? Do people forget so quickly? Or maybe people just don't care. I know quite a few people who do boycott products if they don't agree with what the company/person stands for. And sometimes it does work (has anyone heard from the Dixie Chicks lately?) But kids usually don't care about that, and as Mark points out, they have tremendous power.
The Kobe case raises the question most companies face at one time or another which is just how do you want your company and your products or services to be perceived by the public? Market positioning is problemably the most important decision you can make as you take your marketing campaign public. Just exactly where and to what segment are you positioning your product? To whom are you selling your services? Is Nike selling Kobe to the kids who watch NBA games, play NBA video games, adore Kobe Bryant and couldn't care less what happened in that hotel room in Colorado, assuming they have even heard about it? Of course they are. They are counting on the kids being able to overcome any objection their parents may have through sheer force of kid power – you know what I mean – constant whining, pleading and deal making until you finally give in just to shut them up. The kids are masters at it and Nike and Kobe are counting on it.