Nike Steps Beyond “Just Do It”

Not anyone can pull off a successful multi-million-dollar marketing campaign, but having access to the biggest names in sports is a good place to start.

Over the years, Nike, Inc. has used many of the world’s top athletes in their campaigns, but for the Olympics, they altered their strategy. For the 2016 games in Rio, Nike released their “Unlimited” campaign—which was executed to perfection.

Their first video, “Unlimited Future,” pans to a room filled with babies in cribs sporting nametags like: Neymar Jr, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Mo Farah and Zhou Qi. Actor Bobby Cannavale walks in and begins a Rocky-esque speech about how life isn’t fair, you don’t get to choose the circumstances in which you’re born into, but how you can determine your future—a future of greatness.

The stage and thesis are set for the campaign, and the message is broad. The campaign features one athlete per video with themes like:

  • Champions weren't born champions. They were born babies.
  • Life isn’t about finding your limits. It’s about realizing you have none.
  • Youth has no age limit.
  • Limits are only limits if you let them be.

These cleverly play off everyone’s motivation for greatness and desire to succeed. It’s uplifting, inspiring, and energizing. While this message that could be delivered by Adidas or Under Armour and be received just the same, it was Nike that did it.

The Unlimited series of films inspires viewers to push beyond the limits of what the world says they can do—a move that parallels what Nike is doing themselves by evolving beyond their “Just Do It” tagline.

Nike tells us that greatness is something everyone is capable of, and whether we believe them is beside the point, because either way they’ve created a tether between greatness and their own brand.

Image Source: YouTube

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