As this month marks the 25th anniversary of the famous 'Just Do It' slogan, The Drum thought it was only fitting to relive some of the long-running campaigns best moments.
80 year-old Walt Stack introduced the Just Do It slogan for Nike 25 years ago. Stack was a hod carrier by trade and an icon of the San Francisco running community. In his lifetime he ran approximately 62,000 nukes and even in his 70s and 80s ran more marathons and ultramarathons than many of his running peers. He passed away in 1995.
With Reebok focussing on the 80s fitness craze of aerobics for its ad campaigns, Nike went for a tougher, more streetwise approach to its advertising. The aim of the campaign was to target everyone regardless of age, gender or fitness ability. In the late 80s Nike became more of a fashion statement than workout gear. Despite the widespread approach to its marketing Nike hoped to appeal to those who would view running shoes as a fashion statement especially teens, males and females aged 18-40.
Nike signed Tiger Woods up as a major face of the brand back in 1996 when he first went pro in a $40m five-year deal. The accompanying ad ‘Hello World’ features footage of fist-pumping victories and slow motion shots of Woods, club in hand, walking across greens surrounded by peers, media and fans.
The title sequence accompanying the ad highlights Woods’ triumphs to date, and addressed the fact that despite his credentials there were still courses in the US he was not allowed to play due to the colour of his skin.
Maria Sharapova’s Just Do It ad from 2006 focused on the fact that everyone was obsessed with her looks and not her tennis ability. Set to the 1961 West Side Story song ‘I Feel Pretty’, the acclaimed ad followed a day in the life of the Russian player showing her leaving the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and traveling by limo to New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium whilst being pursued by paparazzi. All the while every person she passes sings a line from ‘I Feel Pretty’. Arriving at the game Sharapova finally manages to silence the crowd with a powerful ace.
This 2006 ad set to The Go! Team’s ‘The Power Is On’ features skateboarders, jumpropers, breakdancers, diverbomber, basketballers, baseballers, cyclists, tennis players, runners, boxers, thai chi-ers, golfers and footballers, and calls for the audience to Create it, Tag it, Enjoy it, Say it, Shout it, Push it, Bite it, Perfect it, Believe it, Face it, Live it, Love it, but most of all Just Do It.
UW-Whitewater Wheelchair Basketball Player Matt Scott appears in this aspirational ‘No Excuses’ Just Do It ad. In the ad Scott is seen reeling off the excuses all of us fall prey to when we don’t want to go to the gym, exercise or push ourselves, including ‘I’m too beat’, ‘I got a headache’, ‘I’m allergic to stuff’, ‘My favourite show is on’ and ‘I think I’ll sit this one out’. The inspirational message of this ad fitted in perfectly with the Just Do It ethos.
In 2007 Nike’s most famous Just Do It brand ambassadors came together in this colossus on an ad. The commercial features tennis heavyweights Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Football’s Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney and American basketball stars Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.
The Killers ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ provides the soundtrack to this 2008 Just Do It campaign supporting all the athletes taking part in the Beijing Olympic Games.
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