Monday, April 16

Nike: I Would Run To You

I'll admit it - I sing when I run.  Not all the time, and not at the gym - but when I'm out on my own, on a quiet street, I sing my heart out when I run.

So what's the message in this new advertising campaign from Nike?

Do anything for love ... even run across the country?  Maybe.

Women are stronger then men?  I don't think so.  It's not very "just do it" from the Nike brand.  I give Nike a lot of play in my book ... I'm a big fan and I think bigger of the brand then that.  The brand thinks bigger than that!  I don't think this is it.

Or is it as Nike would have it ... being physically fit means being able to sing while you run?  Ahhh, that's it. I love it - it's very happy and attainable and a real call to action.  Life is good when you can sing when you run.  I did it this morning!

Notice too, that the woman is clearly wearing Nike gear and she makes it across the country.  The guy?  It's unclear what he's wearing and he doesn't make it out of his city.  Hmmm.  Not so subtle when you really pay attention.

Perhaps with this fine little piece of advertising, Nike is attempting to launch a movement to get us to sing while we run (in Nike gear of course).  Leave it to Nike to give us an easy way to benchmark our fitness progress.  Which also magically fits in with Nike's partnership with iPod.

Now the people looking for controversy went to the "men are wimps" topic.  I really don't think that's what Nike intended.  The brand is far too inspirational for that.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU

PS - This topic got me thinking of Whitney.  Such a classic.  I actually ran to this song this am.