Nike is a brand who truly gets their audience. One of the hardest things to do as a creative is to pare your message down so fine that the only way to describe what happens is magic. “Just Do It”, written by Dan Weiden and has agency Weiden + Kennedy have had a long relationship with Nike.
The success of Nike’s advertising has obviously led it to success in several different sports worldwide. “Just Do It” is a line that can exist in all sports. When an athlete is looking at the training that they have to do. That metaphorical mountain that is before them, one that they will never reach the top of, because they will always be setting the summit higher and higher. “Just Do It” becomes a mantra to them. One where no excuses are allowed. If it’s going to hurt, Just Do It. If you’d rather relax today, Just Do It. If you’re a little sore, Just Do It.
This ad captures it perfectly. If you can’t read it the copy says “Most heroes are anonymous”. It demonstrates that not every athlete is a professional one. It also goes further to connect to the audience because when the runner crosses the finish line that is not their only heroic moment. Instead the moments that are truly heroic are the early mornings and hours of training put in before a race. In those moments the athlete whether it is Steven Stamkos or you is a hero, because anyone who is an athlete knows that your success in your sport largely comes from the training you do before hand.
These ads by Nike demonstrate that. They recognize that their market is bringing their knowledge, struggles, triumphs and personal challenges to the table when they read the ad. These ads speak to t
I’m focusing on the tagline because that is obviously what everything comes back to. Knowing how the tagline is received and functions allows the writer communicate it best. However, in both of these ads “Just Do It” doesn’t appear. Does it have to? An important note here is that “Just Do It” has been around since 1988. By now it is most likely one of the most well known slogans in all of advertising. So plastering it on every ad is pointless in many ways. The audience knows it. The more creative way, which they do, is to use the tagline sparingly. This gives the line more effect.
Does the tagline have to be there in order to communicate the same message? In these cases no not really. The message is sustained in its tone. Most importantly it is the simplicity that allows the message to come through clearly. Yes having “Just Do It” would reinforce the message, but it would be redundant. Having the simplicity in the second ad allows the copy to be the hero. Arguably there is a headline “They will tell you no” and a subhead “You will tell them yes”. The body copy in this case acts the way that it is supposed to: to reinforce and clarify the headline, or technical headline in this case.
And I’ll finish off with a brilliant, and simple, ambient idea from Nike to further my point.