Top of Mind Thursday September 6, 2018: They Just Did It

Top of Mind Thursday

This week, Nike celebrated the 30th anniversary of their “Just Do It” advertising campaign by launching an ad featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the practice of kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games.

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Kaepernick and his fellow players have said they are doing this to draw attention to the ongoing mistreatment of Black youth by police across the country. However, some people have chosen to believe that this action is meant to be disrespectful to America’s military.

Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick in their latest campaign has re-ignited the controversy, drawing the attention of those on both sides of the issue. Some outraged customers have threatened to destroy their Nike products: one man even attempted to burn his sneakers while still wearing them.

Does this bother Nike? Probably not. In fact, one school of thought is that they expected this reaction to occur, but banked on the fact their core customer base (younger and more urban consumers) would identify with this kind of activism and more than make up for those who choose not to remain with the brand.

One industry expert estimates Nike received over $100 million of free promotion for the company in the first 48 hours alone. During that time, the company was mentioned over a million times online–a 3000% increase in conversations.

Regardless of how you feel about the kneeling issue, it’s clear Nike’s bold actions have allowed them to stand out above the noise in the marketplace.

In fact, in this case, when it came to making noise, Nike decided to go all in  and just do it.

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