Advertisements have been used for years to sell products. As long as there have been consumers there have been ads, although in many different media. Different companies or groups release ads to promote a certain product, idea, or brand. Nike is no exception. Nike has been a leading brand in sports for 46 years. They are most known for their athletic shoes, but Nike manufactures all sorts of athletic apparel as well as equipment. Nike publishes many printed advertisements every day. Their ad campaign has been an iconic one, using repetition, a textbook marketing strategy, to create recognition of the brand.
Nike ads are very commonly featured with the same basic elements in all of the printed advertisements they publish. These conventions that are constantly repeated are what help consumers to recognize the advertisement as belonging to Nike very quickly. The conventions that remain present in every Nike ad that help to create brand recognition are the consistent graphic elements, the indelible Nike swoosh and the slogan “Just Do It. ” Nike is an iconic brand. They have made a name for themselves in the world of sports as well marketing.
Nike has been one of the few brands whom continue to grow explosively even in the currently upturned market (Kapner). They have achieved this through superior brand management. Consumers will pay more money for a product they think is manufactured well. Nike has done a wonderful job at portraying themselves as a superior sports apparel brand. The “Just Do It” ad campaign is one that has been known for its detached, determined and unsentimental advertisements (Center for Applied Research). Nike seems above the world, having advertisements that do not focus on current events.
They rarely focus on the product, as much as the people showcasing them. They are heroic, noble, fierce looking people (Gould). These ads focus on the intense inward focus of a supreme athlete. This superiority that comes through in the ads is what makes us pay attention to Nike in both in regards to marketing as well as sports products. Graphics are a big part of printed advertisements. Many printed advertisements rely on pictures to get the intended message across. Sometimes, very little words are necessary when a good picture is present.
Nike frequently uses pictures of individual athletes or an entire team of athletes, usually wearing Nike products, to promote their brand. One ad, for example, shows a shirtless LeBron James against a black background holding a basketball. The Nike swoosh is present followed by words that say, “Prepare for combat. ” Nike is using LeBron, as a star athlete to sell their product. Nike has also always used, and continues to use guilt to sell products. They print ads that show athletes with the intensity that everyone wishes they possess in regards to their sport (Center for Applied Research).
For example, one Nike ad, entitled Inner Drive, shows a woman in brightly colored running gear stretching in front of her house before she runs. The house and the car both look neglected. The consumer gets a feeling that this is an intense and dedicated athlete. She ignores her car because she is so dedicated to running. This is the kind of dedication that people respect and want to emulate. Consumers may feel like they are not serious about their sport, or aren’t giving their best effort if they aren’t wearing Nike. Another approach Nike has used for years is to show only a picture of the product they are trying to sell.
This is done primarily with athletic shoe advertisements. For years Nike has taken the route of very plain ads, making the shoe the most exciting thing on the page. In the 90s, for example, Nike published a series of ads promoting the new air max line. These ads depicted various kinds of shoes, whether they are running shoes, tennis shoes, or basketball shoes, and that was it. Only the shoes were present on the page, with a sentence or two of text, and a logo coupled with the slogan in the corner. Another more recent ad that has this same format is one that advertises for LeBron James’ sixth pair of basketball shoes.
The ad shows a picture of these shoes, and only the words “ The Six. ” These two types of graphics elements are some of the key elements that help consumers recognize the Nike brand. Another common theme of the Nike advertisement campaign is their logo, the swoosh. Logos, also called logotypes, are a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark or abbreviation, often uniquely designed for ready recognition (Dictionary. com). Nike uses the swoosh to help consumers associate things like hard work, commitment, and tenacity with their brand (Center for Applied Research). The swoosh can be used just like a signature.
This logo appears on products themselves, as well as the advertisements for those products. This way consumers know that a swoosh, and everything it is shown with, means Nike. Every shoe Nike makes and every ad they publish displays a swoosh prominently for everyone to see. It is this consistency that makes the swoosh effective. If the swoosh were only present some of the time it would not be as synonymous with Nike as it is today. Slogans are a key element in brand identity. A slogan is a phrase that a company uses for consumers to easily associate something with that particular brand (Dictionary. om).
Nike uses the slogan “Just Do It” to link advertisements and ideas to their company. This slogan is found on many products and almost all pieces of advertisement. When someone hears “Just do it” they think of Nike. We have been conditioned to think this way. Some ads depict a blank page showing only the Nike swoosh and the slogan. These simple advertisements are an effective way to advertise the products and link the slogan with the logo for further brand recognition. Nike has been a force in the sports universe for 46 years. The 80s and 90s marked the birth of the “Just Do It” ad campaign.
Since then Nike has become a staple of American culture. The products Nike manufactures have changed. They have expanded and grown as a company. However one thing has remained constant over the years. Although Nike has made so many different products, and most people couldn’t recall what was the popular shoe in 1985, most everyone knows The Nike swoosh and the phrase “Just Do It. ” The marketing genius that went into creating the consistent graphics, the swoosh logo, and the popular slogan, “Just Do It” is the reason why America knows and respects the Nike brand and their products, and will continue to do so for many more years to come.
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