So I was in Marbella and saw a tourist who was not so much obese, but most probably aiming at the Olympic golden medal for Obesity.
He had problems moving forward. And there it was, on his T-shirt:
One can wonder why Nike makes T-shirts in size XXXXXL.
Isn't that a bit... counter-productive? A tad... going against the image they would like to transmit?
I could not help but marvel at this man. Self-deprecating humor, the wish to make people smile or blissful ignorance, whatever his reasons, they were loveable.
There he was, the least unlikely person on earth to be found walking along the beach side at 7 AM.
And doing just that all the same.
My mind started the attempt to organise a thought.
Could it be that this man, obese as he was, might have been even heavier before he started these walks? And what convinced him to start?
Could it be that he decided to forget all worries, all obstacles, all fear for reactions, and said: "Over the shoulder with all that, let's just do it"?
It is my belief that Nike has driven more people towards sports or living a more active life, than all sports teachers combined.
(Unfortunately, the marketing of Mac Donalds is equally strong).
Admittedly, when studying marketing Nike is my all time favourite 'hero', so forgive me if I become over-enthused in the rest of this blog!
The brilliance of 'Just do it'.
At this very moment, there are millions of people standing in a sports store.
Looking, browsing, comparing, pondering, calculating and hesitating.
OK, they would love those yellow shoes like the athletes of the last Olympics, but they've just got 82 Euro and perhaps, for that money, they could buy something else for just 50, or buy two pairs of shoes for that budget, and to they really need those shoes, and will they really go running or playing tennis or subscribe to the gym, and when would they do that and... and... and
Oh, what the heck...
Oh, what the heck...
In hindsight it's little miracle that this tagline has increased the market share of Nike so much.
For here, Nike is motivator and helping hand alike. Decisions are difficult and take up so much energy and there's so much choice... we love it if a decision is taken for us.
A sports brand as philanthropist and life coach?
Is it really their aim to make people healthier? Do they really want to help people with advice and decisions at difficult moments?
The answer could be difficult to grasp: of course they do!
If they did not care, they would not be where they are now.
If they did not care for your comfort while running, not care to give you long term satisfaction and the knowledge that those 82€ were really well spent, they would be nowhere.
Where would Google be if they did not invest millions in offering you a totally free search engine? Free gmail? Free maps?
First and foremost any great Brand offers you something that really improves your life, and does so for free.
Sure, let's skip the debate which - or whether there even are - Brands that would do this 'out of the goodness of their heart'. This is a market place. Helping you is only the first step towards the earnings.
The second part of the answer is: of course they don't!
The grey cells that are responsible for Nike's great tagline, really understood what makes people tick.
Someone has actually sat there, on a bench in an immense sports store, focussing on the question: "how, of the overwhelming choice of shoes that people have here, will they consider ours? What would me help to make my decision here and now"?
"How can we help people to make their decision process easier, and that this decision will be in our favour"?
How to help them with the overload, and reduce it to 2 options only?
Nike's tagline even helps you with this decision.
If you excuse me now, I'll go and hyperventilate with dignity.