Ever come home from work after a long day, its raining out, you’re tired as hell but the run you promised yourself you’d go on for days is still looming over your head and you think, just do it. Ever been an hour or two into your workout and ready to go but you know you can do the extra set of push ups you’ve been avoiding and contemplate just heading home cause you’ve done enough and then at the last minute you’re like, just do it.
If you’ve ever given in to the “Just Do It” mindset then you have given into the marketing messaging that Nike has been campaigning since 1988. Way back when in the 80’s when Nike’s biggest competitor, Reebok, was going after the exercise craze that was occurring at the time, Nike knew they had to strike back to stay alive and get ahead. They switched up the game and were like hey, we want something that will be for everyone regardless of their age, shape, size, favorite color, fitness level, wherever they are, whoever they are, we want them to want us. So then they coined “Just Do It”, geniuses. This type of campaign resonated not only in regards to physical fitness but also emotionally with pretty much everyone (try and tell me otherwise).
You can’t tell me that if you were having an internal battle about running an extra mile on the treadmill and you were wearing a shirt that said “Just Do It” on it you could just get off, look the other way, and feel good about your workout. No way. Super doubtful. So you run the extra mile and feel awesome, on top of the world and its all because of those three words you read. Three itty bitty words filled with so much punch.
Interestingly, Nike was niched around marathon runners at one time. Then with this stellar, take-no-prisoners type campaign they changed the name of the game and connected everyone. Someone who can’t even walk up two flights of starts without stopping is now receiving the same type of motivation as Rocky himself, just do it dammit. Honestly, all they pretty much had to market was this one phrase; throw it on one billboard and boom, billions of dollars comin’ your way Nike, way to go. It’s crazy too because this one message has kept up for so long and its only growing stronger. My challenge to Nike is to come up with the next motivational message craze, just do it Nike.
One of my favorite “Just Do It” spin off shirts that Nike later coined is that “Every Damn Day” shirts. I’m not kidding, geniuses over there at Nike. They could get me to run a marathon next week after not running for a year if they wanted. The vibe that they’ve created with their “Just Do It” marketing makes the average person feel like Kobe Bryant. They even made it cute, too. This campaign turned it all around, Nike soon became a fashion statement and still is today. 80% of their running shoes aren’t even worn for fitness purposes now, just fashion. Way to go Nike, way to stick it to Reebok and really push that extra mile by inspiring us all. You rule. EVERY DAMN DAY.