How Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ Campaign Became A Global Phenomenon | World Brand Affairs

How Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ Campaign Became A Global Phenomenon


10/25/20222 min read

Source: Nike
Source: Nike

Nike’s “Just Do It” Campaign Is A True Marketing Phenomenon

Nike is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Its famous “swoosh” logo is instantly recognizable, and its iconic “Just Do It” slogan has become a part of our cultural lexicon. But how did this famous campaign come to be, and what has made it such a global phenomenon?

The History of “Just Do It”

In 1988, Nike was a growing but still relatively small brand, looking for a way to differentiate itself from its competitors. They enlisted the help of advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, which had only recently opened a small office in Portland, Oregon. The agency was tasked with creating a new campaign for the brand that would capture the essence of Nike’s spirit and motivate consumers to buy its products. The agency’s co-founder, Dan Wieden, was inspired by the last words of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, who famously said, “Let’s do it” before he was executed in 1977. Wieden changed the phrase slightly to “Just Do It,” and the rest is history. The campaign launched in 1988 with a series of TV ads featuring athletes of all ages and abilities, from professional basketball players to weekend runners. The ads focused on the idea of pushing oneself to achieve greatness, no matter what obstacles might stand in the way. They were bold, inspiring, and unlike anything that had been seen before.

Why Did “Just Do It” Resonate with Consumers?

One of the key factors that made “Just Do It” so successful was its simplicity. The slogan was short, catchy, and easy to remember, making it perfect for print and TV advertising. But beyond that, it tapped into something deeper in the psyche of consumers. Nike’s campaign was about more than just selling shoes and sportswear. It was about inspiring people to be their best selves and to push beyond their limits. The ads featured athletes from all walks of life, from children to seniors, showing that anyone could be a part of the Nike brand. This message of inclusivity and empowerment struck a chord with consumers, especially those who were looking for motivation to achieve their own personal goals. Nike’s marketing became more than just a way to sell products – it became a movement, inspiring people all over the world to “Just Do It.”

How Has “Just Do It” Evolved Over Time?

Over the years, Nike has continued to evolve its “Just Do It” campaign, adapting it to changing consumer trends and attitudes. In 2018, the brand celebrated the 30th anniversary of the campaign with a new ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The ad was controversial, as Kaepernick had become a polarizing figure due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality. But Nike stood by its decision to feature him, arguing that Kaepernick’s message of activism and social justice aligned with the spirit of “Just Do It.” This latest iteration of the campaign shows how Nike has continued to push boundaries and take risks in its marketing. The brand has always been willing to challenge conventions and push the envelope, and this has helped it stay relevant and connected with consumers for over three decades.


Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is a true marketing phenomenon. What started as a simple slogan has become a global movement, inspiring millions of people to push beyond their limits and achieve their goals. Nike’s willingness to take risks and adapt to changing consumer attitudes has helped it stay at the forefront of the sportswear industry for over 30 years. While the campaign’s success may be partially attributed to luck, it is clear that Nike’s commitment to authenticity and inclusivity has played a key role in its longevity. As the brand continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how it continues to inspire and motivate consumers with its marketing. One thing is for sure: the “Just Do It” campaign will always be remembered as one of the most iconic and successful marketing campaigns in history. As a brand, Nike has always been about more than just selling products. It has a strong focus on empowering and inspiring individuals to achieve their goals, no matter what those goals may be. The “Just Do It” campaign perfectly embodies this spirit, showing that anyone can be an athlete, and that success is within reach if you are willing to work hard and push beyond your limits. In conclusion, the success of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is a testament to the power of a strong, simple message that resonates with consumers on a deep level. By staying true to its core values of authenticity,

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