Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan is known worldwide, and it’s hard to imagine the brand without it. But where did this iconic phrase come from? The answer is a surprising one, and it involves an unlikely source. In this article, we’ll dive into the origins of “Just Do It” and explore its journey from a motivational speech to a global phenomenon.
From Motivational Speech to Global Phenomenon
Believe it or not, the famous “Just Do It” slogan was inspired by a convicted murderer’s last words. In 1976, Gary Gilmore was sentenced to death by firing squad for murdering two people. Just before he was executed, Gilmore said, “Let’s do it.” Dan Wieden, the co-founder of Wieden+Kennedy, the advertising agency that worked with Nike at the time, heard Gilmore’s last words on the radio and was struck by their simplicity and directness.
Years later, when Nike was looking for a new ad campaign, Wieden remembered Gilmore’s words and suggested, “Just Do It.” Despite initial hesitation from Nike executives, who thought the slogan was too negative, the campaign launched in 1988 and quickly became a hit. The “Just Do It” advertisements featured everyday athletes pushing themselves to their limits, inspiring viewers to overcome obstacles and pursue their goals.
The Unlikely Story of Nike’s Catchy Catchphrase
Despite its dark origins, “Just Do It” has become a symbol of motivation and perseverance around the world. The slogan has been used to sell everything from sneakers to weight-loss programs, and it has been referenced in movies, TV shows, and music. In fact, Nike has trademarked the phrase, making it one of the most recognizable and valuable slogans in history.
The success of “Just Do It” is a testament to the power of simple, direct messaging. By tapping into the universal desire to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness, Nike created a slogan that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just starting out on your fitness journey, “Just Do It” is a reminder that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Nike may have started as a small shoe company, but thanks to its iconic “Just Do It” slogan, it has become a global brand synonymous with determination and success. It’s amazing to think that the phrase came from such unlikely origins, but perhaps that’s part of its charm. As we continue to face challenges and strive for greatness, “Just Do It” will undoubtedly continue to inspire us to push forward and achieve our dreams.