Nike Ads: Why do they Captivate?

As any avid cricket follower, you may have seen the recent Nike Advertisement shown extensively during matches. Brilliant concept by JWT wherein they show a bunch of kids along with a few prominent cricketers thrown in, each chasing the eternal cricketing dream across India. I feel this Ad stands out when as compared to others which are being run in similar slots. Nike, how do they go ahead and “Just Do It”?
Flashback to the late 1980’s, picture a boardroom (every client service execs nightmare) and a bunch of ad guys and aggressive Nike employees arguing. The agency was Wieden and Kennedy, where Dan Wieden remarked, “You Nike guys, You Just Do It”. A phrase that they say is now advertising history. Another important form factor is the Logo. The swoosh is more than just a checkmark. It portrays the willingness, determination and airiness of an athlete. Nike stressed on aligning its brand strategy towards being more than just a sportswear company to an overall fitness provider. This can be seen through their Ads that targeted obesity and were more shifted towards women as well. These moves only strengthened their brand further.
Coming to the recent Ad on Indian Television, there are 3 strong elements that I feel work towards this:
  1. Background/Setting: Fast paced transition of a bunch of cricket enthusiasts from the wake of morning to bowling the first ball, with all their grit. 
  2. Thoughts/Emotions: Unison of goals irrespective of which region and steadfastness to achieve them, dreaming the same dream. 
  3. Cultural References: Music by Taufiq Qureishi that encapsulates the Indian Spirit. 

But from a marketing perspective there has to be a more analytic take on this. As any communications student will tell you, there are three important stages when it comes to the Hierarchy of Effects:
  1. Cognition(Associated with thinking)
  2. Affective(More on the feeling aspect)
  3. Behavioral(Linked to Doing)

Nike’s Ads work best on the third level. Being a powerful brand with high recall and association of the logo and tagline the average consumer is already aware of the brand, carries a subtle amount of interest for the product and has the desire to someday own a pair of Nike shoes. All of this to be more fitter and lead a healthy lifestyle. These cover the first three aspects of the AIDA model in communication theory (Awareness, Interest, Desire & Action). The last stage Action, which involves a behavior shift is clearly targeted in the Nike ads which compel the viewer to “Just Do It”. Here, you see the tagline itself is a Call to Action of sorts. 
Coupled with well executed advertisements, strong branding and marrying the local culture by showing visuals from urban India to the dingiest of chawls, gullies near the Ganga and all the way up to scenic Ladakh they have embodied the spirit of the average Indian who will do all it takes to catch every match, watch as each ball is bowled and jump with euphoria every time we secure a win.

2 thoughts on “Nike Ads: Why do they Captivate?

  1. This could be a case in itself! Wowie!

  2. Thanks a bunch Subhashree! Cases bring back so many memories 🙂

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