Just Do It – Nike’s Slogan Explained!

Are you looking for the meaning of Nike’s Slogan: Just Do It? If yes, this article is going to explain it to you in detail.

As an entrepreneur, I’m very interested in learning about the slogans of some successful companies like Nike. Because it inspires me to use the same kind of marketing tactic in my own business.

So in the past week, I have studied a lot of materials about Nike’s Slogan: Just Do It. I’m going to share with you my findings about the slogan. You may find it very inspirational if you are a business student or business owner.

In this article about “Just Do It”, I’m going to cover the following topics:

What Does “Just Do It” Mean?

Just Do It is a slogan or trademark of the shoe company Nike and is a main feature of the brand. This slogan was coined in 1988 at a meeting of advertising agencies 

Every big brand, like Nike, has a slogan. Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” comes from the last words of a murderer.

Through the “Just Do It” campaign, Nike increased its share of athletic footwear sales in North America from 18% to 43% (from $877 million to $9.2 billion worldwide from 1988 to 1998) 

According to many publications and journalists, the slogan is the best slogan of the 20th century because it connects people to the current situation and makes them believe that they too can be successful by wearing Nike products

It was important for the slogan to be short, simple and catchy.

The slogan has generated so many comments and has been used in so many memes over the past few years 

On the Internet, we can find many “Just do it” memes, mostly with humorous and/or sarcastic meanings.

The most famous is probably the Shia Labeouf just do it meme, specifically the video of Shia Labeouf screaming “Just Do It”.

For some reason, this line resonated with the athletic community and likewise with people who had little or no connection to sports.” 

Some adopted it as a way of life. Nike capitalized on it in its advertising, particularly in posters aimed at women that linked athletic involvement with self-determination. The message was repeated in a 1995 commercial from TV.

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How Was the “Just Do It” Slogan Created?

The famous advertising slogan was created by Dan Wieden, co-founder of Wieden+Kennedy. According to Dan Wieden, the slogan for his Nike campaign, “Just Do It,” was inspired by the last words of Gary Gilmore: “Let us do it.”

If you’re as shocked as we’re, you’re not alone. An interview with Dan Wieden at the 2015 Design Indaba in Cape Town explained the story behind the slogan.

In 1988, Wieden was struggling to find a slogan that would go viral. After thinking about it all night, Wieden became very concerned about the final slogan. He stayed up all night thinking about it 

When he thought of the new Nike slogan, Wieden remembered a man from Portland. The man grew up in Portland, where he committed crimes and then killed a man and a woman. They asked the criminal if he’d any final thoughts as he stood before the firing squad. “Let’s do it,” he replied.

After writing down five final lines, he narrowed it down to one that was closest to his heart, and that was “Just Do It.”

He changed Let’s Do It to Just Do It because Wiener didn’t like Let’s Do It. Gary Gilmore, the aforementioned culprit, was born and raised in Portland, where Nike and Wieden+Kennedy are headquartered 

Nike co-founder Phil Knight was sceptical of the slogan, telling Wieden, “We don’t need that nonsense.” Weiden believed in the slogan and convinced him to trust it, and the campaign quickly became a huge success.

“Just Do It” appears alongside the Nike logo, the swoosh, in many Nike contexts.

Nike’s slogan and swoosh logo helped the brand overtake Reebok and become the global giant we all know today.

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How Do the “Just Do It” Campaigns Work?

The Nike tagline continues to be used in much of the brand’s advertising and marketing. 

“‘Just Do It’ is as relevant to us as a brand today as it was 23 years ago,” says Davide Grasso, VP for global brand marketing at Nike 

“It’s been translated into many, many languages,” he continues. “One of my favourite examples is this one: The American Foundation for the Blind gave Nike the Access Award in 1995 for creating and distributing a ‘Just Do It’ poster in Braille.”

Nike itself sees the slogan as more of a brand identity than a tagline. “We don’t really believe in slogans,” Grasso says. “Instead, we’ve found that the most effective thing is to invite people to join us in what we believe in and what we stand for. And our goal is to serve and honour athletes.

The “Just Do It” campaign, launched in 1988, was very successful. The company defined the meaning of “Just Do It” as “universal and very personal”

When Reebok focused its campaign on aerobics during the fitness craze of the 1980s, Nike responded with a “tough advertising campaign that takes no prisoners” 

The campaign targeted all Americans, regardless of age, gender, or physical fitness level. Nike’s strategy was to present the sneakers to consumers as a fashion statement, which led to Nike apparel becoming more than just fitness apparel 

In addition to merchandise, billboards, print media and graffiti art, “Just Do It” was promoted in a variety of media.

To attract customers and promote Nike as a reliable company for ordinary people as well as professional athletes, Nike used a variety of people from different ethnicities and races, in addition to many well-known athletes.

Some of the world’s most famous athletes were used in their advertisements, including footballers Bo Jackson, Ronaldinho, and Wayne Rooney; basketballers Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and tennis players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Using professional athletes and slogans that emphasized athleticism and health, the Nike campaign embodied Nike’s image as an innovative American icon associated with success. Customers began to associate their purchases with the prospect of achieving great things.

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Why Is the Business Slogan Important For Nike?

A slogan is a short, catchy phrase that is widely used in advertising. A catchy slogan for a brand or product is an effective way to draw attention to it 

Slogans have been used in marketing for many years, but today they are ubiquitous and used by many different types of brands 

A good slogan should highlight the benefits of a product. The slogan should be memorable and emphasise the brand’s image 

Generally, a phrase that has meaning appeals to customers more than a brand’s name alone, because a good slogan not only makes a promise to customers, but also explains what the brand stands for.

The following reasons explain why slogans are so important in marketing:

Positioning and recognition of brands

Brand identity is defined by a unique logo, a memorable tagline and the brand name 

Therefore, it would be helpful if your tagline is catchy and memorable to make the brand known in the market. Depending on the language and tone of the slogan, your brand will be positioned in the market.

Developing better customer relationships

Throughout history, slogans have been valued as a link between a company and its customers 

The use of advertising slogans for brands helps the audience to remember the brand, which in turn leads them to develop a positive attitude towards it.

Be a standout

It is important that your brand has a distinctive tagline. Your brand gets a unique identity that stays in people’s minds 

You can identify your brand by the tagline without having to mention the product or brand name.

Increase your product’s demand

A slogan can tell the audience not only about the product, but also about its benefits 

A slogan is the way people perceive a product. Therefore, using a slogan as a marketing strategy can make your product more desirable.

Final Words: Nike Slogan

A powerful marketing slogan gives a clear picture of what your business is about, and it becomes an important part of your company.

In today’s society, the slogan ‘Just Do It’ is taken as either an inspirational mantra or a bullying command 

In addition to the Nike swoosh, it appears on bags, t-shirts and billboards around the world 

The slogan sums up the sports brand: it is competitive, energetic, direct, powerful and lean like the athletes who appear next to it in Nike advertising.

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Just Do It - Nike's Slogan Explained!

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