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Nike Final Draft

Page history last edited by Travis Rodery 12 years, 8 months ago

Travis Rodery

English 1020


Coming out of Reebok’s Shadow

“When Nike says, just do it, that's a message of empowerment. Why aren't the rest of us speaking to young people in a voice of inspiration?” Naomi Klein speaks out about one of the most powerful companies in all sports and in the world, Nike.  Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign and strong product, was able to increase its share of the domestic sport-shoe business from the bottom to the top of the hill looking down at everyone else.  A strong brand allows its owner to expand market share, command higher prices and generate more revenue than its competitors "Just do it", this popular slogan can be seen anywhere, shirts, billboards, and commercials. Nike has launched multiple ad campaigns for their company using this slogan. The idea of using this was discovered at a 1988 meeting of Nike’s ad agency Wieden and Kennedy and a group of Nike employees. Dan Weiden, speaking highly of Nike’s can-do attitude, reportedly said, “You Nike guys, you just do it.” The rest, as we now know, is history.  As the years have come and gone, so have Nike commercials, but now they have new strategies to try and reach out to people doing them.  As we saw in the commercial, many professional athletes have been involved with them such as Lance Armstrong, Michael Vick, and Serena Williams.  Catching the attention of the audience is the key and using athletes is one of the easy ways to do it. The classic Nike Swoosh, “Just Do It” slogan and deified sports figures have captured the eyes of young athletes around the world and have turned Nike into one of the most famous companies in the world.

            What are the reasons why people choose one item over another?   One reason is appearance or the logo of the product.  At the end of each commercial, Nike puts the symbol and makes sure that that image stays in their minds after the commercial is over.  Consumers are willing to reach deeper into their pockets and pull out more money and pay more for brands that they judge to be superior in quality, style and reliability.  An example of this is Ralph Lauren’s Polo company.  He puts a man riding a horse playing polo, symbolizing higher class.  If there are two shirts made out of the exact same material but put an eagle on shirt and a man playing polo on the second at the exact same price, most of the time polo is getting picked.  Nike’s classic swoosh logo was not fully introduced until the 80’s, but it is a worldwide known symbol today.  It was designed in 1971 by a Portland State graphic designed student named Carolyn Davidson.  Most people think of the symbol as a weird version of a check mark, the Nike swoosh was inspired by the Greek goddess Nike, the winged goddess of victory. The swoosh symbolizes the goddesses path of flight.  A regular blue shirt can cost a slim amount of about five dollars, but if you put a Nike swoosh symbol on the front of that shirt it can bump the cost up to at least fifteen.  This fact just shows the power of the swoosh and how much people care what the logo on a shirt looks like.  When kids and adults think of Nike they think of sports, when they think of sports they think of athletes, and when they think of athletes they look at them as the best and coolest people around.  So in a sense in order to be considered cool and have style you have to wear Nike around your peers at school. The logo design campaign communicated such a strong point of view to Nike’s target market that the meaning for the logo design symbol evolved into a battle cry and the way of life for an entire generation. Isn't it amazing how a small symbol we call a logo, can make a company into a huge success.   

            Just do it, what exactly do these words mean?  What do they want us to be doing, these words can mean anything.  Nike uses this saying at the end of each commercial they run and they have even put it on the side of their shoe boxes and shirts.  What they are saying is get up and go out and make something happen without complaining or making excuses.  This commercial is a great example of this because all of these athletes are playing sports that they are not involved in.  Football players are playing hockey and a tennis player is playing baseball, but what does it mean.  The commercials are inspiring and motivating the younger generations to get out and get after things.  Nike is showing that there is one thing that all athletes have in common that make them successful. It's hard work. With hard work and not being lazy or making up excuses, is how all the athlete got to where they are today.

            The “Just Do It” campaign was also effective in reassuring consumers that Nike was a quality brand.  The use of the most popular celebrities and superstar talented athletes has become one of the top advertising strategies today.  In just about every commercial Nike makes, there is either one or multiple celebrity athletes involved in it.  A man is more likely to watch a commercial and not turn the channel if he knows the person in it and not just some random horrible actor.  Women are more likely to keep their eyes locked on the T.V if there is a sexy hunk athlete on the screen.  Who are most of the young adults and kids idols growing up.  The simple answer is athletes, because everyone has had the dream of believing that that could be them one day on the big stage in front of millions of people.  Now that Nike has your attention on their commercial they lure you in by showing you all the amazing athletes that use their products.  Why do kids dress and act the way they do when they play sports?  The answer is they see their favorite athlete on T.V wearing it so they think they should look like that and could play that good.  Think about it, if Michael Jordan can play an entire NBA season in a pair of Nikes, certainly the average weekend warrior can trust the shoes’ durability.   Celebrity endorsements also appeal to the consumers’ sense of belonging and so called “swagger”.  If you want to be up to date, wear Nike; if you are hip, you are probably wearing Nike.

            Early athletes that were involved with Nike were multi-sport athlete Bo Jackson, tennis phenom John McEnroe, and the sensational Michael Jordan.  Nowadays, an expansion of sports and gender has forced Nike to appeal to both men and women.  Athletes such as swimmer Michael Phelps, seven time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong, and female tennis player Serena Williams were added to the Just Do it crew.  A very smart choice by Nike, because now they reach out to not just the big sports like football and basketball, but the sports that do not get as much attention like swimming.  Also, women are now involved because female athletes like Hope Solo and Serena Williams are in the picture.  Hope Solo is a very attractive Team USA goalie and soccer is the most popular sport around the world and the FIFA World Cup just ended.  It is no mistake that she was chosen, all the athletes are chosen for a reason, to sell their product.  Female sports are now being recognized and that is drawing more people over to the Nike fashion.

            The use of the “Just Do It” slogan, deified sports figures, and the classic Nike swoosh symbol, have captured the eyes of young athletes around the world and have turned Nike into one of the most famous companies in the world.  Nike “Just Do It” commercials have been going strong for over twenty years.  In present day, their commercials have shifted into motivating kids to go out and play sports without making excuses.  Modern day techniques of using popular celebrities and superstar athletes are being used to show off their brand and this helps lure more customers into buying their product.  Women are now being thought about in the customers sports world.  Nike’s signature swoosh is a symbol well known around the world and people are willing to pay the extra cash just to have that logo on their clothing items.  After starting off as a small company, Nike has transformed itself into a world known company by using new commercial techniques and a quality product to that people are dying to have.


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