Welcome to Will It Stick? podcast, where hosts Melissa and Alexis cover creative advertising campaigns, PR stunts, and marketing activations that brands of all shapes and sizes pull, and dive into the research and data to understand if it worked.

In this episode, Melissa and Lex dive into how Nike created the slogan: Just Do It. Those 3 words might be the three most iconic words in advertising. You hear it, and you immediately see the swoosh and think Nike. It appears on bags, billboards, t-shirts, coffee mugs. It feels like that slogan must have been a part of the brand since Nike’s inception, that’s how much a part of the brand it feels like it is. But the truth is, it wasn’t. 

Just Do It was created by an agency we’ve talked about before, Wieden + Kennedy, by Dan Widen himself, in 1987.

In the first 10 years of Just Do it, so from 1988 when it launched to 1998, Nike increased its share of the North American domestic sport-shoe business from 18% to 43%….. From $877 million to $9.2 billion in worldwide sales).  Today, almost 35 years after Just Do It became its tagline, Nike spends a little more than $3 billion per year in advertising around the world. Nike is THE WORLD’S LEADING athletic apparel brand. Nike is currently doing about $42 billion in annual revenue, and it continues to grow. 

The coolest thing is that “Just Do It” is still as relevant today, in 2021, as it was when it was created in the late 1980s. This episode dives into the super weird backstory of Dan Widen’s inspiration for the iconic marketing tagline and explores some of Nike’s campaigns through the years that utilize the Just Do It message.

If You Let Me Play – Nike
I Am Not A Role Model – Nike
Nike Controversy with Colin Kaepernick Campaign
2020 Just Do It Commercial – Nike

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Resources:

Check out some of the great articles we sourced to gather all the facts for this episode.

Creative Review’s article titled the History of Nike’s Just Do It Slogan

AdWeek had a great article from the 25th Anniversary of The Just Do It slogan by David Gianatasio

Marketing Week had a great article about the Top 10 Nike Just Do It Ads by Seb Joseph. 

Just Do It on Wikipedia

The Evolution of Nike from UnionRoom.com

And, I highly recommend the documentary on Amazon Prime TV called Art & Copy. 

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