1980-1988: Early Advertising
Before television advertisements, Nike released several successful print ads. One of its earliest print ad campaigns was the “There is no finish line” campaign by John Brown and Partners. The posters were an instant hit, since, it did not focus on the running shoe product, but instead on the person wearing the shoes.
At this early stage, Nike saw the lucrative value in sports sponsorships. The company began sponsoring track and field athletes like Carl Lewis. With lucky breaks, Nike signed some bigger names in the athletic world like Wayne Gretzy and, probably the most important sponsorship signing in Nike history, Michael Jordan.
1988: The JUST DO IT Campaign
This campaign was probably Nike’s most known and successful. In 1988, Nike worked with ad agency Wieden and Kennedy to create the slogan Just Do It. The company used this campaign to cash in on the jogging/fitness craze of the 80s. Top competitor Reebok was sweeping the aerobics race so Nike responded with Just Do It ads that practically shamed people into exercising, and more importantly, to exercise in Nikes. The Just Do It ads truly embodied the philosophy of grit, determination and passion to encourage consumers to embrace the culture of fitness rather than focus on the product. The Just Do It...