Nike's prompt and iconic anti-racism ad is a positive sign of how brands can contribute to the popular political and societal discourse and help drive change. And, in this case, it is also an example of how such an action is taken with the Nike target audience and consumers in mind. As such, it will likely have a positive impact on Nike's brand equity and sales.
When Nike took a stand with its Kaepernick campaign in September 2018, online sales increased by 31% over the crucial Labour Day Holiday according to Times.com (see Glocalities' findings here)
In the beautifully executed ad by Wieden& Kennedy Portland, Nike’s long-time agency, the slogan of Nike ‘Just do it’ becomes ‘For Once, Don’t Do It...’ and a sequence of white words in black screen encourages viewers to take a stand against racism in America.
Right after launching the ad already went massively viral with 35,000 retweets and two million views only a few hours after its publication. Even its main competitor Adidas reacted with a retweet of the ad.
The Nike ad is not only morally superior. The message is in line with Nike's consumers. According to fresh Glocalities data from 2020, American users of Nike are more likely than average to support Black Lives Matter.
The alignment of a brand with customers' values proves not only to be profitable in the long run but also to echoe the values and principles of its primary customer base. Reaching the hearts and touching the fine strings of the clients' yields long term results, while staying authentic to the brand and the priorities of its client base. Honesty and authenticity add an extra layer of credibility and brand loyalty, if you wish, and promise a better alignment with the values and principles of the target group.
Nike’s campaign, targeted at high-performance athletic athletes, is in line with its consumer base. By seizing the moment, timely, and excellent execution of its campaign, as well as a deep understanding of its consumers. The company created a winner at lightning speed. It is only possible if you work with trusted long-time partners and have detailed, almost instantaneous insights into your target audience, a deep understanding of your consumer base, the pulse of the momentum, as well as empathy with their values and priorities.
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