Last year’s Nike advert with Colin Kaepernick was one of the biggest commercials of 2018 in terms of controversy. The NFL player kneeled during the pre-match national anthem in a protest against police brutality and racial inequality within America.
Using Nick as the face of their 30th anniversary advert was a very strong social statement, as well as a big success for the brand. Although Nike was faced with boycott threats, in the world of business bad press is better than no press, and TIME magazine actually reported that sales increased 31% after the ad.
I started to do my research and found that Wieden + Kennedy, Nike’s advertising agency, are no strangers to controversy and so have been able to construct an emotional branding strategy in order to build customer loyalty.
I was able to create this timeline of social statements throughout Nike’s advertising history.
I think Nike are definitely taking the advertising industry by storm, and it’s really refreshing to see a brand use their platform to be rebellious and disruptive but also to educate and inform at the same time. I am excited to see what they do next for upcoming campaigns and what social issues they will discuss further.
What are your thoughts on some of the above adverts?