In 1982, Nike aired its first national television ads, created by newly formed ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, during the New York Marathon. This was the beginning of a successful partnership between Nike and W+K that remains intact today. The Cannes Advertising Festival has named Nike its 'advertiser of the year' on two separate occasions, the first and only company to receive that honor twice (1994, 2003). Nike also has earned the Emmy Award for best commercial twice since the award was first created in the 1990s. The first was for "The Morning After," a satirical look at what a runner might face on the morning of January 1, 2000 if every dire prediction about Y2K came to fruition. The second Emmy for advertising earned by Nike was for a 2002 spot called "Move," which featured a series of famous and everyday athletes in a stream of athletic pursuits. In addition to garnering awards, Nike advertising has generated its fair share of controversy: Beatles song
Nike was the focus of criticism for its use of the Beatles song "Revolution" in a 1987 commercial, against the wishes of Apple Records, the Beatles' recording company. Nike paid $250,000 to Capitol Records Inc., which held the North American licensing rights to the Beatles' recordings, for the right to use the Beatles' rendition for a year. Apple sued Nike Inc., Capitol Records Inc., EMI Records Inc. and Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency for $15 million. Capitol-EMI countered by saying the lawsuit was 'groundless' because Capitol had licensed the use of "Revolution" with the "active support and encouragement of Yoko Ono Lennon, a shareholder and director of Apple." According to a November 9, 1989 article in the Los Angeles Daily News, "a tangle of lawsuits between the Beatles and their American and British record companies has been settled." One condition of the out-of-court settlement was that terms of the agreement would be kept secret. The settlement was reached among the three parties involved: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr; Yoko Ono; and Apple, EMI and Capitol Records. A spokesman for Yoko Ono noted, "It's such a confusing myriad of issues that even people who have been close to the principals have a difficult time grasping it. Attorneys on both sides of the Atlantic have probably put their children through college on this." Nike discontinued airing ads featuring "Revolution" in March 1988. Yoko Ono later gave permission to Nike to use John Lennon's "Instant Karma" in another ad. Minor Threat ad
In late June 2005, Nike received criticism from Ian MacKaye, owner of Dischord Records, guitarist/vocalist for Fugazi & The Evens, and front-man of defunct punk band Minor Threat, for appropriating imagery and text from Minor Threat's 1981 self-titled album's cover art in a flyer promoting Nike Skateboarding's 2005 East Coast demo tour. On June 27, Nike Skateboarding's website issued an apology to Dischord, Minor Threat, and fans of both and announced that they tried to remove and dispose of all flyers. They state that the people who designed it were skateboarders and Minor Threat fans themselves who created the ad out of respect and appreciation for the band. The dispute was eventually settled out of court between Nike & Minor Threat. The exact details of the settlement have never been disclosed. Chinese-themed ad
In 2004, an ad about LeBron James beating cartoon martial arts...