Nike’s Kaepernick ad shows that it stands by what they believe.

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

Colin Kaepernick is the new face of the ad campaign. With a nation divided on the issue, Nike’s Kaepernick ad certainly captures the attention of the sports world.

Nike’s Kaepernick ad is released on social media

Nike Colin KaepernickAll this firestorm started with a Tweet on Monday night by Nike’s Kaepernick ad. Everything took off from there.

Everyone took their own side, and the back and forth on Tuesday was a social media firestorm.

The stock price fell 2-3% in one day.  We are now day 3 and the stock has steadied itself. Truth be told, the results of this stance should be judged 3-5 years from now, not 3-5 days later.

Nike definitely supporting their athletes. These ads will get more high profile athletes to want to sign up with Nike….and over time the 15-year-old athletes will buy MORE Nike (at a rate of 3 to 5 pair/year) offsetting the 55-year-old non-athlete not buying (at a rate of 1 pair/year).

I believe Nike wins this math equation.

Explaining the “Just Do It” campaign

Over the last 30 years of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, you can see how they balance high profile athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods with your average athletes going above and beyond their athletic expectations.

Nike’s creative idea of “Just do it” reflects the strategic brand idea of, “Nike pushes you beyond your athletic boundaries.” Nike has made the most of TV advertising, layering in new stories supporting the “Just do it” creative idea. Here are some of the best Nike TV ads:

  • Michael Jordan’s “Failure” ad has him speaking about the many times he has been entrusted with the last  shot, only to fail to deliver.
  • With “Jogger” from the 2012 London Olympics, Nike used a heavy-set kid jogging at 6 a.m., to show how not all of us are superstars and challenges the average athlete inside all of us.
  • “No Excuses” has an unknown athlete speak to camera and list all possible excuses for not working out, only to pull the camera back and reveal he is a wheelchair basketball player who has no excuses.
  • With “Freestyle,” Nike created a hip-hop track and then matched visuals of NBA stars bouncing basketballs to that track. Very visually and musically engaging, this ad makes you look up at the TV. 
  • “If you let me play sports” from the early 1990s, an emotional ad that speaks to all the life benefits for girls who play sports. Adolescent girls deliver the copy lines of “If you let me play sports, I will have more confidence, be more likely to leave a man who beats me or suffer less depression

Nike’s Kaepernick ad was released on YouTube a couple of days later

Nike’s Kaepernick ad combines a lot of the greatness we’ve seen from Nike over the past 30 years of “Just Do It”, with a combination of superstars such as Lebron and Serena with those overcoming the most serious of life challenges. With Colin Kaepernick as the voice over, it takes a political stance and adds a bit of controversy.

This might be one of the best Nike ads I’ve ever seen.

To learn more about this type of thinking, you should explore my new book, Beloved Brands.

With Beloved Brands, you will learn everything you need to know so you can build a brand that your consumers will love.

You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution and analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.

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Beloved Brands: Who are we?

At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.

We think the best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique playbook tools are the backbone of our workshops. We bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.

We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits, and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a brand idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand.

We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources.

Our brand playbook methodology will challenge you to unlock future growth for your brand

  1. Our deep-dive assessment process will give you the knowledge of the issues facing your brand, so you can build a smart plan to unleash future growth.
  2. Find a winning brand positioning statement that motivates consumers to buy, and gives you a competitive advantage to drive future growth.
  3. Create a brand idea to capture the minds and hearts of consumers, while inspiring and focusing your team to deliver greatness on the brand’s behalf.
  4. Build a brand plan to help you make smart focused decisions, so you can organize, steer, and inspire your team towards higher growth.
  5. Advise on advertising, to find creative that drives branded breakthrough and use a motivating messaging to set up long-term brand growth.
  6. Our brand training program will make your brand leaders smarter, so you have added confidence in their performance to drive brand growth.

To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching

To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training

If you need our help, email me at or call me at 416 885 3911

You have my personal promise to help you solve your brand building challenges. I will give you new thinking, so you can unlock future growth for your brand.


Graham Robertson

Founder and CMO, Beloved Brands Inc.