By: Patrick Saunders
Have you ever noticed how advertisements for Adidas or Under Armour products always seem to show only the top athletes wearing their products? It seems like the best way to market your brand right? Well Nike, one of today’s best sporting companies, would like people to know anyone can push their limits, be great, or be a champion. No longer are aspirations to be the best reserved for championship athletes or gold medalists in the Olympics. Find your own greatness, and be the best that you can be today.
In 2012, corresponding with the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London, Nike released its “Find your Greatness” ad campaign in the hopes of driving its consumers to achieve their own greatness with or without the help of their Nike plus product line. Nike has always been a strong supporter of motivation, hard work, and self-fulfillment within their brand. It’s an image that Nike takes pride in while setting the standards in today’s athletic world. The idea behind the campaign is simple; show a series of short commercials with everyday people participating and enjoying the thrill of achieving a sport at their own level. Interestingly enough, not only was Nike not an official sponsor of the Olympics, their arch rival Adidas was, and had paid tens of millions to be an official sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics. Nike’s campaign was a priceless way to market their brand and cash in on all the Olympic hype. As Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman has said, “if you have a body, you’re an athlete.” It’s quite the message Nike was trying to portray to the world, but it’s a message that definitely stands out from the rest, one that is so inspirational to the point where watching just one of the many short clips will make you want to get up off the couch and go do something. Most importantly it’s a message that has really stuck with the brand only helping them to further success.
In my opinion, it was a very smart idea for Nike to release such a campaign coinciding so closely to the Olympics. Although a risky idea, seeing how Nike was not even a primary sponsor for the Olympics, I believe that it completely changed the way people view the company’s target market. By displaying mostly non-athletes throughout the campaign videos, it shows that anyone can be great even though they may or may not be particularly athletic. Some of Nikes ad straplines included, “Greatness doesn’t need its own anthem” or “Greatness doesn’t need a stadium” relating to the Olympic games. The headings for the ads directly highlight the company’s idea that the average person should do what makes them great. Many people today are under the impression that the “best of the best” achieved their greatness in some magical way that seems almost impossible to the average person. We put others’ achievements in our perspective when we should be focusing on what makes each one of us great. In addition, the campaign pushes us as a nation to become a healthier one and incorporate more physical activity into our daily lives.