I was watching ESPN the other day and caught a VERY fleeting glimpse of Marta in their “Forever Faster/Calling All Troublemakers” Puma ad. This campaign’s narrative is centered on Usain Bolt, but framed by a series of other athletes, including Mario Balotelli and Marta. Depending on which national/linguistic edition of the ad you watch, you might catch a glimpse of Marta in a hot tub. All of the athletes appear in hot tubs. The only women athletes in these ads are Lexi Thompson (golfer) and Marta. Thompson appears in the tub with men, of course. Marta, kindof wonderfully, appears in a hot tub with a man and a woman. Nobody is near her. One must assume PUMA couldn’t handle putting her in the hot tub with only women.
I am picturing Marta arriving on set.
She throws on a bikini, as required. She’s body proud, doesn’t mind really. She leaves the dressing room, and heads to the set.
There she sees two men in the hot tub, and refuses to get in it.
Puma might use the word “troublemaker” to brand itself as badass, but Puma isn’t actually badass. It’s a corporate brand looking to sell out even the feeling of disenfranchisement. If it was really bad ass, it’d have had Marta in the hot tub with a gaggle of blond women draped over her just as they are draped over the men.
Marta demands women for the hot tub. This is what the male athletes get, after all. She declares: It’s sexism! Don’t they know she’s filed a law suit about this sort of thing? Negotiations ensue, and someone proposes that she climb into the hot tub with what looks like a straight couple. She says fuck it, OK. Collects a check that is, of course, much smaller than Balotelli’s and Bolt’s. Whatever.
Below the version of this ad with the most seconds of Marta that I could find.