What Nike understood early on wasn’t merely the power of advertising. No, they discovered something far more profound, more meaningful. They discovered the power of their own voice. They realized that they weren’t in the business of selling shoes or sportswear. They were in the business of inspiration.
Nike didn’t just use advertising as a tool to shout about their products. They used their voice to speak to our hearts, our dreams, our aspirations. They understood that their real product wasn’t just a piece of footwear or apparel, but an idea, a belief. A belief that if you have a body, you’re an athlete.
They used their voice to tell stories, stories that inspired us, that resonated with us, that made us feel seen and understood. Stories that made us believe that we could “Just Do It” – no matter what our ‘it’ was.
So, Nike didn’t just discover the power of advertising. Any company can pay for ad space. But not every company can inspire a movement. Nike discovered the power of their own voice, the power of their own story. And that’s a power far greater than any advertising campaign could ever hope to achieve.
Nike’s real triumph lies in understanding and harnessing this power, the power of authenticity, of connection, of belief. They didn’t just sell us shoes; they sold us a piece of a dream, a slice of inspiration. And in doing so, they didn’t just create customers, they created believers.