Nike Just Do It Campaign – Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who sparked controversy by kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice, will be the face of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad campaign.
Kaepernick was a quarterback in the NFL for six years. He sparked national debate by kneeling as the anthem was played before games during the 2016 season to draw attention to police killings of African Americans and other issues.
Nike Just Do It Campaign
On Monday, Kaepernick tweeted a black-and-white photo with the Nike logo and the slogan “just do it” and the quote “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
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Nike has supported Kaepernick since 2011, but has not featured him in campaigns since his departure from the NFL.
“We believe Colin is one of the most inspiring athletes of this generation who has harnessed the power of sport to help move the world forward,” Nike Executive Director Gino Fisanotti told ESPN. “We wanted to bring its meaning to life and introduce ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes.”
The protests during the national anthem, which were soon embraced by other players, drew the ire of some NFL fans, Republican politicians and President Donald Trump.
Trump said the players had no respect for the American flag and military, and said he would like to see NFL owners fire players like that.
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Kaepernick and fellow former 49ers player Eric Reid have not been signed by any of the NFL’s 32 teams since their protests spread. Both filed collusion complaints against NFL owners.
On Thursday, arbitrator Stephen Burbank rejected the league’s motion to dismiss the case, meaning he found enough evidence to proceed with the case and possibly go to court.
News of the Nike ad campaign came days before the NFL’s first game of the season on Thursday, when the controversy over pre-game protests may have flared up again.
Serena Williams was among those who praised the ad, having previously praised Kaepernick and Reid. “I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African American should be totally grateful and honored that Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good,” she said over the weekend.
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I’ll be at w/ @MariaBartiromo on @FoxBusiness at 8:00 a.m. ET Tuesday, but I won’t be wearing any @Nike products. I think @Nike will now focus on making knee pads for the NFL. — Governor Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) September 4, 2018
Others posted videos on social media of burning Nike shoes and Nike socks with the “swoosh” cut out.
Kaepernick was enthusiastically received by fans at the US Open exhibition match between Serena and Venus Williams in New York on Friday night when he was shown raising his fist on a big screen. “Today I’m especially proud to be part of the Nike family,” the former tweeted after news of the Kaepernick deal broke. He crossed age and class barriers, connected Nike with success – and made consumers believe that they too could be successful wearing his products.
Like all great taglines, it was both simple and memorable. It also implied more than its literal meaning, allowing people to interpret it as they wished and thus develop a personal connection with the brand.
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As one observer put it, “‘Just Do It’ was commanding, impatient, cocky and a bit rude. Consumers haven’t heard these things before.”
Ironically, Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, did not believe in advertising. But as competition from Reebok became fiercer in the mid-1980s, he began working with a small agency called Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Oregon.
Wieden was concerned that the campaign’s six initial ads, focusing on different topics and sports, lacked a common message. He drew inspiration from an unlikely source – Gary Gilmore’s famous last words before the execution of a double murderer in Utah in 1977: “Let’s do it.”
Eleven years later, Wieden modified the words to create a slogan. “It was a simple thing,” he later recalled.
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In fact, the line harmonized with Nike’s strategy of creating a point of difference from Reebok, which was focused on the aerobics craze, targeting people of all ages, genders, and fitness levels. This led to the brand being worn as a fashion statement rather than just fitness equipment.
“If anything, Adidas and Reebok had more right to own the line than Nike,” one commentator later noted. “But they have earned the right to call it their own.”
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Over the last three decades, the definition of Nike’s generational slogan “Just Do It” has evolved over time. Originally encouraging gym goers to add extra gear, it eventually became a rallying cry at the forefront of social change through sport, and last fall an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick proved that the opinions of such an influential company as Nike are inherently valuable to the fight for equality in the all levels.
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Continuing the Just Do It saga, Nike will unveil its latest spot called “Dream Crazier”, featuring elite female athletes who have rewritten the history of their sport. Officially unveiled on Sunday, February 24, the 90-second spot is not your average highlight film, but rather a compilation of moments over the years that clearly reflect the deep imbalance in the treatment of women and men in sport. Serena Williams’ narration, which also stars at the awards show on Sunday night, only reinforces the message.
Today, Nike reveals images from a new campaign that sees Simone Biles, Chloe Kim, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Simone Manuel freely dominate their respective arenas. You can certainly expect these and more to appear in “Dream Crazier”, so watch the visuals below and stay tuned for the premiere next Sunday. Just Do It: How Nike’s iconic tagline built the late Dan Wieden’s career Advertising legend Dan Wieden, creator of Nike’s iconic tagline Just Do It, died last week at the age of 77 – leaving behind a legacy that changed the industry.
The Just Do It logo seen in a shop on Gran Via in Madrid. SOPA Images/SOPA Images/LightRocket by Getty Images hide caption
Wieden was the co-founder of advertising firm Wieden and Kennedy, as well as the brain behind many of the brand’s iconic campaigns, and died last Friday at the age of 77.
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Wieden was widely known for its innovative and extremely successful marketing campaigns for companies such as Old Spice, Procter and Gamble and Coca Cola.
But he achieved his greatest fame in 1988, when he created a slogan for the first client of his fledgling advertising company: Nike.
Wieden coined the slogan “Just Do It” for the then-smaller sportswear brand based in Oregon. The phrase gained immediate publicity and signaled an upward trajectory for Wieden and Kennedy as well as Nike.
Nick DePaula, an NBA writer at ESPN, said that the creativity of both brands is a recipe for success.
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“Not only was the tagline great, it was also accessible and vague enough that anyone could apply it to what they were aiming for,” said De Paula. “But in 1988, when the tagline was introduced, they appeared in the same timeline as the Air Jordan 3, Air Trainer 1 and Air Revolution, which were the company’s three biggest shoes in the entire time.”
“This campaign, and especially these shoes, created the foundation on which Nike could launch in the 90s.” DePaula added.
The origin of the slogan stems from a surprisingly macabre inspiration, something that admirers believe was just part of his out-of-the-box thinking.
In an interview with Design Indaba, Wieden revealed that the phrase was inspired by the last words of a death row inmate facing execution, and said, “You know, let’s do it.”
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“I remember when I read that I was like, this is amazing. I mean, in the face of so much uncertainty, how are you going to push it through? So I didn’t like that ‘let’s,’ so I just changed it, or else I’d have to give it credit,” Wieden joked.
Regardless of its gruesome origins, this slogan has helped advertising firm Wieden and Kennedy become a global success.
Despite this rapid growth, Wieden was known by many for its grounded and humble mindset, as well as its support of a progressive and friendly workplace for its employees.
Natalie Welch, who worked for Wieden and Kennedy for five years, said Wieden’s approach to the firm was completely unique in their industry.
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“It was really humility and the idea that there was no hierarchy … There didn’t seem to be any barriers between the different levels,” she said.
Welch added that in an industry predominantly white and male, Wieden and Kennedy’s early emphasis was on
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