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still ^ PHIL KNIGHT HATES ADVERTISING

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PHIL KNIGHT HATES ADVERTISING

That’s right. And that’s what this whole damn book is about. In fact, the Nike brand isn’t going to make any sense to any of us unless we understand why Phil Knight doesn’t like advertising.

Think of the following as a guide. A guide that will remind us in many ways how we got to where we are today. A reminder of why we believe in what we do. And why what we do works.

WE ARE KEEPERS OF THE CUP.

The fact is that all of us have inherited this brand. Inherited its voice and its power. Both of which we’re in charge of preserving, protecting and evolving. We are account- able for elevating this brand. It’s not a job, it’s our duty.

We all came to Nike because we bought into what Nike’s all about: whatever that is to each one of us. But the one thing we know, we feel to the core (and if you don’t, quit now and save yourself a lot of pain), is that Nike is different. That Nike’s communication over the years is like nothing else in the world. And the key to under- standing the secret sauce is to realize that Nike advertising isn’t advertising.

So, forget everything you’ve learned about advertising and start realizing that you are now entrusted with the awesome task of becoming the Chinese Temple Dog of the Nike brand; protecting and growing a very fragile idea and taking great caution that you don’t screw it up. Start realizing that what you’re supposed to be doing isn’t advertising. It’s evangelizing the faith.

And remember, Phil Knight still hates advertising.

NIKE IS NOT A BRAND.

It’s not a brand like we have been taught to think about brands. Nike is the DNA of the athlete in all of us. It comes from the athlete. It comes from people who want to elevate and celebrate the human spirit. It’s not just a shoe, or a watch or a piece of apparel.

It’s an attitude.

THERE ’ S CULT OF THE BRAND AND THEN THERE ’ S CULT OF THE CONSUMER.

Nike is an influencer. Therefore we should be influencers, not the ones being influenced. But more importantly…Nike is an instigator.

Therefore we should be influencers, not the ones being influenced. But more importantly…Nike is an instigator.

SATISFY YOUR FRIEND, IGNORE EVERYONE ELSE.

Talk to the real basketball guy. Not the people who respect Tim Duncan’s game. It is an exclusive club, and the people in the club like it that way.

guy. Not the people who respect Tim Duncan’s game. It is an exclusive club, and the

TALK ABOUT ATHLETES, NOT NIKE.

Unless you are a boxer or Terrell Owens, you never go around screaming about how great you are. This is why your slogan is “Just do it.” instead of “Nike. We kick ass.” Or “Nike, the best company in the world.” Or “Nike. We Rule.”

do it.” instead of “Nike. We kick ass.” Or “Nike, the best company in the world.”

MAKE COMMERCIALS THAT LEAVE YOU WITH SOMETHING. WHEN YOU WALK AWAY YOU HAVE WORK TO DO.

Nike advertising always has a point of view. It leaves you with some work to do, some thinking. And it comes in all forms.

But what makes it different than anything else on TV is you gain some ownership. The part you take with you is yours.

But what makes it different than anything else on TV is you gain some ownership. T

TALKING TO THE YOUTH.

Being youthful is not a matter of music, or edit, or celebrity representation. The spirit of being youthful is in the idea.

Classical piano might be, if it supports the youthful spirit, the perfect soundtrack for a young audience.

is in the idea. Classical piano might be, if it supports the youthful spirit, the perfect

BRINGING THE IDEA TO LIFE.

When you plant a seed, it helps to know what kind of seed it is. An orange tree won’t grow in Denver but will flourish in Florida.

a seed, it helps to know what kind of seed it is. An orange tree won’t

LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION.

All you really have to say is “Streaker.”

Choosing the right media platform, the AFC and NFC Championship games, proved to be the difference. One of the greatest monumental media moments in Nike Advertising history.

Media is a weapon. Let’s never forget that.

One of the greatest monumental media moments in Nike Advertising history. Media is a weapon. Let’s

IT IS OKAY FOR YOUR ADS TO BE HATED, DESPISED, AND SOMETIMES EVEN BANNED.

Some people loved the Chainsaw. Some people found it offensive. Good. People who loved the commercials found even more reason to love them when they heard old Jimmy in shipping found them morally bereft. And believe me, you don’t want to get in between two people arguing about the latest Reebok ads. I’ll tell you, it’s heated. Just for fun, below, match the commercial with the consumer group that hated it.

Role Model

Cheerleaders

Revolution

Angry Beatles fans

Streaker

Olympic TV viewers

Chainsaw

One Million Moms

Soccer tape print

Parents

Angry Beatles fans Streaker Olympic TV viewers Chainsaw One Million Moms Soccer tape print Parents

THE GUT IS ALWAYS MORE RELIABLE THAN THE RESEARCH.

If you ask a kid what he wants in a cake, and then make the cake for that kid, what you will end up with is a cake made entirely of icing. And not only will the kid not like the cake, it will probably make him vomit.

up with is a cake made entirely of icing. And not only will the kid not

ANYTHING CAN BE AUTHENTIC.

And we make it authentic because of the insight in the idea. Either from sport, culture, the consumer – all of it.

Streakers, puppets, opera, French acrobats. All perfectly acceptable.

from sport, culture, the consumer – all of it. Streakers, puppets, opera, French acrobats. All perfectly

NOT EVERYONE HAS TO LIKE AN AD TO APPROVE IT.

You don’t.

NO T EVERYONE HAS TO LIKE AN AD TO APPROVE IT. Y ou don’t.

NEVER TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.

We sell shoes and apparel and…

Some people wear our shoes to the movies and the mall. The most athletic thing they do in them is brush their teeth and that can only be a few times a week.

At the end of the day we take up very little space in the mind of our consumer.

and that can only be a few times a week. At the end of the day

WE DON T MAKE LEVIS.

But we do make a shitload of other footwear, apparel and equipment. If it is to be worn on your head, hands, feet or body, you should assume that Nike has you covered. Here are a few other things that we make: mp3 players, watches, hockey skates, sunglasses, wristbands, baseball gloves, bats, yoga mats, messenger bags, backpacks, duffel bags, soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, golf balls, etc.

You get the idea. So show it. Yes, in the ads.

duffel bags, soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, golf balls, etc. Y ou get the idea. So show

IT ’ S NOT ALL ABOUT ADVERTISING.

We must work together with brand design and retail presentation. Their deadlines are often much sooner than our deadlines. Working together is crucial to success.

If we don’t have all the pieces together, working as one picture, we have fragment- ation. The consumer feels this, retail feels this, shoe sales feel this, the stock price feels this, we all feel this.

ation. The consumer feels this, retail feels this, shoe sales feel this, the stock price feels

GREAT PRODUCT STORIES ARE THE RESULT OF GREAT PRODUCT.

Shox NZ and the Huarache 2K4.

That’s all.

GREAT PRODUCT STORIES ARE THE RESULT OF GREAT PRODUCT. Shox NZ and the Huarache 2K4. T

COMMERCIALS DON ’ T SELL SHOES.

If it was that simple, we’d have thirty-second shoe commercials and giant shoe print ads running 365 days a year.

The fact of the matter is that getting a consumer to choose Nike is a complex formula. It starts with having a brand that consumers believe in. And that’s where advertising provides the air cover. The rest of the ingredients are just as important, and do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting that specific shoe on your foot – digital, retail presentation, athletes, events, PR.

The ad is only one piece of the larger whole. And it should act accordingly.

retail presentation, athletes, events, PR. T he ad is only one piece of the larger whole.

BIG. BAD. NIKE.

People are counting on us.

People expect Nike commercials to be great. They trust that if it’s from Nike, it will be interesting. This is both a burden and a great blessing.

We can’t walk on eggshells. People look to us for our point of view. Our take. They want us to inspire them. They want us to flex our muscles. Not “I’m tougher than you,” more “I understand you.” This brand represents the athlete in all of us. And you can never be too big and too bad with that DNA.

understand you.” This brand represents the athlete in all of us. And you can never be

IN BED TOGETHER TWENTY-TWO YEARS.

Sport, advertising, business, media and our consumer has since changed, but the foundation on which the relationship was built remains…

The key to creating great work in 1982, in 1991, in 1995 and in 2004 continues to be “respect.” Respect for what we make, for the business problems we are solving, for the brand and most importantly for each other.

Your relationship with each other, let alone your agency, will determine the kind of work you do. – Dan Wieden

other. Y our relationship with each other, let alone your agency, will determine the kind of

GET THEIR ATTENTION.

If you remember nothing else, remember these three little words of advice from Phil Knight. Get their attention.

If you remember nothing else, remember these three little words of advice from Phil Knight. Get