Just Do It

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Just Do It.

Just Do It (stylized as JUST DO IT.)[1] is a trademark of shoe company Nike, and one of the core components of Nike's brand. The slogan was coined in 1988 at an advertising agency meeting. The founder of Wieden+Kennedy agency, Dan Wieden credits the inspiration for his "Just Do It" Nike slogan to Gary Gilmore’s last words: "Let's do it."[2] The "Just Do It" campaign allowed Nike to further increase its share of the North American domestic sport-shoe business from 18% to 43%, (from $877 million to $9.2 billion in worldwide sales) from 1988 to 1998.[3] In many Nike-related situations, "Just Do It" appears alongside the Nike logo, known as the Swoosh.


The "Just Do It" campaign launched in 1988 was highly successful with the Age selecting the campaign as one of the top two taglines of the 20th century with it being both "universal and intensely personal". [4] While Reebok was directing their campaign at aerobics during the fitness craze of the 1980s, Nike responded with "a tough, take no prisoners ad campaign". One of the campaign's objectives was to target all Americans regardless of age, gender or physical fitness level which led to Nike becoming worn as a fashion statement, not just as fitness gear (Nearly 80% of Nike's running shoes are not worn for their intended purpose). Nike's fundamental objective was to represent sneakers as a fashion statement to consumers, especially females, teens and males aged 18–40.

Throughout the campaign, Nike enlisted numerous notable athletes in order to attract customers and promote the image of Nike as being reliable to not only everyday customers but professional athletes. Athletes such as football stars Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney, basketball stars Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant and tennis stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were used in their advertisements, including a range of people from varying ethnicities and races.[5][unreliable source?]

Nike was faced with criticism by Ernst & Young surrounding the campaign, with the pay of elite athletes compared to those in overseas shoe factories, and for violating the minimum wage in their operations in Vietnam.[6][unreliable source?] [7]

The "Just Do It" campaign went out to a range of media outlets including merchandise, outdoor billboards, print media, and graffiti art.

The campaign embodied Nike's image as an innovative American icon associated with success through the combination of professional athletes and motivational slogans emphasizing sportsmanship and health. This led to customers associating their purchases with the prospect of achieving greatness.[8][unreliable source?]

In 2015, actor Shia LaBeouf used this phrase in LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner's #INTRODUCTIONS video, which later become an Internet meme.[9]

Colin Kaepernick & Controversy[edit]

Nike's signature "Just Do It" campaign celebrated its 30th anniversary on September 5th, 2018 with the release of their video titled, "Nike - Dream Crazy". This short video follows in the trend of Nike partnering up with famous or trending athletes and features numerous household named sports figures such as LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Colin Kaepernick, an American football quarterback. After opting out of his contract with the San Francisco, he has since then, been a free agent and not signed by any NFL team. His involvement with the advertisement, especially after the context of the controversial act of kneeling during the National Anthem in 2016, gave rise to a whole entire internet debate and social movement against Nike[10]. Many individuals took to Twitter and other social media sites to revolt, adopting the hashtag, #JustDon't or #BoycottNike[11]. Many prior fans of Nike have also showed signs of protest by explicitly demanding that others boycott or even go as far to burn Nike shoes or destroy various other merchandise. Nevertheless, many analysts suggested that the campaign was successful, as the target group of the advertisement has endorsed it[12].

Colin Kaepernick is the face of the company's new “Just Do It” campaign. Within moments of the announcement, the same controversy that Kaepernick sparked two years ago when he began kneeling during the national anthem began to play out all over again. https://www.vox.com/2018/9/4/17818162/nike-kaepernick-controversy-face-of-just-do-it . But it almost didn’t happen. In the summer of 2017, a debate raged in Nike's headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., over whether to cut loose the controversial, unemployed quarterback — and the company very nearly did, according to two individuals with knowledge of the discussions who requested anonymity because of nondisclosure agreements each has with Nike[13].


  1. ^ "Nike Classic Branding, with slogan "Just Do It."". SeekLogo. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Birth of 'Just Do It' and Other Magic Words". New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  3. ^ "Mini-case Study: Nike's "Just Do It" Advertising Campaign". UDOC. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  4. ^ Friedrich von Borries. "Who's Afraid of Niketown?: Nike Urbanism, Branding and the City of Tomorrow". Episode Publishers. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "Nike-Just Do It". Wendy Chung. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  6. ^ "The Nike Controversy". Stanford. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  7. ^ "Nike Shoe Plant in Vietnam Is Called Unsafe for Workers". New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  8. ^ "Strategic Analysis of Nike". Condor. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  9. ^ Pogue, D. (June 2, 2015). "The Real Story Behind Shia LaBeouf's Hilarious 'Motivational' Rant". Yahoo. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  10. ^ Blistein, Jon (2018-09-04). "Colin Kaepernick Leads Nike's 'Just Do It' 30th Anniversary Campaign". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  11. ^ "Nike shoes burn on social media as Colin Kaepernick features in 'Just Do It' campaign". Global News. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  12. ^ "Nike's Colin Kaepernick gamble is already paying off". CNN Money. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  13. ^ "Nike Nearly Dropped Colin Kaepernick Before Embracing Him". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-10-09.