A Tribute To ‘The Greatest Slogan In Advertising History’

July 1st 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the birth of Nike’s “Just Do It” Tag line.Walt Stack

Created by Weiden and Kennedy, it was touted by many as one of the best ad slogans ever.

That same month, Adweek proclaimed that the ‘Just do it’ slogan might be “the last great tagline in advertising history”.

A bit of history…

In one of my very first posts here I covered Nike and attributed their success to their understanding of what they sell.

Nike sells shoes but it’s not in the shoe-selling business. It’s in the business of selling emotion and aspiration.  Nike sells achievement, Nike sells perseverance and Nike sells Victory.  Nike also happens to sell running shoes and athletic wear.

In 1988, advertising legend Dan Wieden summed up this feeling in the now-ubiquitous “Just Do It” tag line.

The first “Just do it” ad

The very first Just do it ad was of  an 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge.  As he jogged, he told us about his daily 17-mile run and joked about how he keeps his teeth from chattering in winter by leaving them in his locker, brilliant!

In memory of Walt, and as a tribute to the greatest slogan ever made,  we created this short parody of a popular MadMen scene.  Watch, enjoy and please share…

“Just do it” is still appealing today

25 years on, “Just do it” is re-incarnated in the form of a #hashtag in a new Nike campaign called ”Possibilities”, a viral hit garnering more than 1.3 million YouTube views in just 24 hours.

It features LeBron James participating in his first ever (fake) dunk contest, soccer star Pique, and lots of inspiration for athletes to push themselves harder. Watch…

It’s no surprise that Nike’s ads and specifically the “Just do it” tag line still resonates with consumers today.  Nike’s inherent ability to communicate to consumers at an emotional level has future-proofed their business model for many years to come.

Nike communications rep Joseph Teegardin says the hashtag is “indeed specifically tied” to the catchphrase’s 25-year anniversary.

Dan Weiden’s thoughts on “Just Do it”

I’ll leave you with the interesting story of  how “Just do it” was conceived, as well as some pearls of wisdom from none other than Dan Weiden, the creative genius behind the slogan…

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