When people hear Nike, what’s one thing that comes into mind? “Just do it,” the iconic Nike slogan that started in 1988. The famous slogan began with a commercial featuring an 80-year-old man named Walt Stack. Then after that, Nike’s shoe revenue rose to 47 percent from 1988 to 1998.
What people don’t know is the history behind “Just do it.” Though the slogan positively affected people’s lives, the inspiration for it came from a death-row inmate named Gary Gilmore, who was convicted of double murder. As Gilmore stood in front of a five-person death squad, the officer asked him for his last words.
Gilmore replied, “Let’s do it.”
Fast-forward to 2015, the “Just do it” slogan made a resurgence after one of the segments in a monologue performance of actor Shia LeBeouf became viral, eventually spurring on the proliferation of 2015’s widely shared internet meme.
Now, what are the important lessons in the “Just do it” campaign? How can small businesses learn from this type of campaign? Here are three secrets that can give any business quick publicity on social media.
The “Just do it” slogan is already 32 years old today, but it still looks and reads fresh to the eyes of the public. The slogan is set in Futura Bold Condensed. The font Futura redefined graphic design in many ways.
Futura changed how designers combined text with shapes and other elements, and since the time it was first used in a Nike ad, this font has been widely used in different kinds of print media. To Nike, Futura’s revolutionary effect in graphic design and the simplicity of the phrasing made “Just do it” a timeless slogan, logo, and trademark.
Considering that Futura has been around since the 1920s, this slogan and logo still look competitive today. People wouldn’t think that this branding was more than 30 years old. That’s the main reason small businesses should focus on timeless marketing techniques.
The campaign started in 1988, and it still runs today. After getting an unexpected boost in 2015, Nike’s branding of “Just do it” remains a model of the best marketing stunts in history.
Now that the world has social media, it’s easier to create publicity stunts that can create a positive impact on the consumers. When planning a social media campaign, companies should focus on goals that never go old. Businesses should post content that can resurface after several years, similar to what happened in Nike’s slogan.
“Just do it” addresses the person, a.k.a the consumer. Nike captured the masses’ attention back in 1988 because of the personal connection of the slogan to them. If you watch the commercial again, it’s basically just an old man jogging half-naked.
But if Nike removed the slogan at the end of the video, it would’ve been a lackluster commercial. From this standpoint, small businesses can see the effectiveness of this technique in attracting customers.
Connecting to the customers is the next big secret. When posting on social media, businesses should find ways to make their products personal to consumers. They should answer the question “How can we make our product important to the customers?”
In the 1980s, there was a big fuss about aerobics. This exercise became a trend in that era, and Reebok certainly didn’t miss the boat. In fact, Nike was in trouble because Reebok advanced in the numbers game, but “Just do it” happened.
In that particular scenario, how did Nike turn the tables? The answer is simple—Nike tapped into emotions. Nike figured out that it wasn’t selling shoes. It realized that it was selling “emotional benefits.”
Instead of selling shoes for jogging, Nike sold shoes because these made people feel comfortable, healthy, and happy. And that’s how small businesses can make their products personal. Now, it’s no wonder why Nike is still one of the leading brands in the clothing industry.
Be the Reason
In Nike’s financials as of the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2019, Nike reported spending $1 billion in demand-creation expenses. What is this expense item? Well, it’s basically Nike’s way of making people buy their products. The nature of and items under this expense category are internal information for Nike, but you don’t have to know the specifics to understand what demand creation means.
To give you a snapshot of demand creation, revisit the scene in The Wolf of Wall Street in which Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) asked his friend to sell the pen to him. Then, Jordan’s friend asked him to write his name on a napkin. Jordan replied, “I don’t have a pen.”
And from that moment, the pen was sold. That’s how small companies can become the reason consumers need to buy their products. In particular, that is demand creation, and it is the third secret in boosting publicity on social media.
Companies should release content on social media that will create artificial demand in the market. The company’s publicity stunt should make consumers say “I didn’t know that I needed that.”
In a competitive market today, staying afloat is every business’s goal. That’s why companies, especially the small businesses selling products and services online, should utilize social media to gain publicity and attract more consumers.
Thus, companies should focus on timeless content that connects to the emotions of the consumers. In return, the content should create a demand that will make the consumers rethink their buying choices. And with that, companies can gain an edge over their competitors.
The secret’s out.
Boost sales. Be relevant. Be the reason.