Sporting analogies are often used in business, but should they be used to contextualise the horrors of war?
Perhaps not, as the marketing folk behind forthcoming Christopher Nolan movie ‘Dunkirk’ are starting to discover.
Re-editing the movie’s trailer to help advertise both the film itself and the NBA playoffs in a handy, one-hit package, a clip from the movie aired over the weekend, playing out with a parade of NBA stars doling out some inspirational vibes.
“One turn over, one miss, one loss… you think it’s all over. But it’s not. Put it behind you. Keep moving. Play on,” they read, over the footage of soldiers fighting for their lives.
Check it out below…
It appears to directly compare the struggles of an impending sporting defeat with the events of the miraculous Dunkirk evacuation during World War II.
And while some Harry Styles fans were just happy to catch another glimpse of the One Direction star, it’s gone down amazingly badly with everyone else, responses ranging from amused disbelief to just plain anger.
Call me crazy, @NBA, but I feel like comparing the NBA playoffs to the Battle of Dunkirk is in pretty poor taste.
— Kevin (@RedSoxRedShoes) April 30, 2017
Wow. Did that commercial just compare the NBA finals to the horrors of war at Dunkirk?
— Molly Myers (@mollyannmyers) April 30, 2017
— Jay Wright (@J_Wright20) April 30, 2017
You're kidding me comparing war to a game of playoff basketball right? Absolute garbage.
— Phil Facquet (@imsophilthy) April 30, 2017
— Fawn (@fawny517) April 30, 2017
— Steve Brown (@sbrown23) May 2, 2017
okay i just wanna know who tf connected the battle of dunkirk with the nba playoffs https://t.co/jxhmfr76dn
— sara (@thisbemesara) May 1, 2017
@NBA the naval escape at Dunkirk that saved the civilized world is JUST LIKE Jazz v. Clippers
— The DC Sports Curse (@DCSportsCurse) May 1, 2017
Keep thinking about how ridiculous that Dunkirk/NBA playoffs TV promo is. Hey, let's compare being surrounded by Nazis to Cavs vs. Raptors!
— Mark Singelais (@MarkSingelais) May 1, 2017
Dunkirk/NBA crossover ad is a little questionable, what with the relating turning over a basketball to mass soldier deaths.
— Connor Baker (@SonOfKenby) April 30, 2017
Is the NBA really comparing the playoffs to the battle of Dunkirk? Anyone else think that's more than a little crass?
— Spencer (@fijikokoi) April 30, 2017
“Thousands of civilian and military British people risked their lives to save almost half a million soldiers surrounded by Nazis so that their sacrifice and struggle could be shown as having something to do with throwing balls,” added one YouTube user.
Thus far, the NBA has made no comment on the clip.
The movie, starring Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance – and Harry Styles – arrives on July 21.