By Hans Ebert
Being an ex ad guy who still can’t help thinking like an ad guy when seeing how certain products are marketed- the good, the bad and the fugly- what still has the most powerful brand recall is “Just do it”, Nike’s inspirational corporate ethos and advertising theme line.
Every time, I return to forever and my own sanity to watch that episode of the brilliant series “Mad Men” where Don Draper presents his campaign for the Polaroid Carousel by selling emotion and nostalgia with such honesty, a number of thoughts flash across my mind.
One of those is the line “Just Do It”. I still believe this line- and Nike- capture the life of Joao Moreira, the Brazilian Magic Man who grew up playing football on the mean streets of São Paulo, succeeded against all odds, and today is one of the world’s best horsemen and riders and most marketable racing “product”.
The idea above will probably never happen for a number of reasons that’s not worth getting into here, but just imagine horse racing backed by a global brand like Nike and its inspirational theme line. It suddenly elevates the racing product and its image.
Through the backstory of the charismatic Joao Moreira, racing becomes so much more than it’s been for around thirty years.
With Nike involved in this story, it gives racing a new lease of life and a complete marketing overhaul. It will no longer be a plodder. Nor a stodgy and tired looking product happy to be stuck in the past.
Racing could suddenly look young, exciting and relevant- globally. Repeat: Globally.
It’s not about piling on more of the same- formulaic creative-by-commitee wallpaper advertising comprising everything that’s been regurgitated for decades including the media landscape and the various radio, television and online byproducts. This might happen, but let’s not hold our collective breaths.
Horse racing continues to travel down one path where it’s easier for many who lead it to say why things cannot be done or change instead of having the gonads and self-belief to Just Do It.
Still with this line, we’ve arrived at a time when everything is changing overnight with the consumer having a “Who cares?” attitude and waiting for SOMETHING new to come along and create an emotional bond with them.
Music today, for example, might have more new artists than ever before, and then what? Spotify? Pottering around on Instagram? Another YouTube channel?
Why not Nike Music? Think about it. But let’s not overthink things.
There’s nothing better than to Just Do It. And only Nike can make this happen. Just Do It, Nike.
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