The 2012 Olympics have come to an end and I’m sure sponsors are hoping that they have left lasting impressions in the minds of millions of viewers worldwide. Besides P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign, when I think back over the past couple of weeks, the campaign that resonates most with me was not even from an Olympic sponsor.
Nike, who was not an official Olympic sponsor, launched its “Find Your Greatness” campaign on July 25th – just two days before the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games. There are certain adjectives that should describe marketing efforts – which include simple, interesting and consumer-friendly – and I think that Nike definitely achieved all of these descriptions and more in this go ’round. The focus of the campaign was finding and celebrating the greatness that is within everyone, and operated off the premise that true greatness is not limited to a select few.
The first video (see below) of the campaign features everyday people exhibiting ‘greatness’ in their lives, in their respective locations, which just happen to include places like a “London field,” “London gym,” and cities/towns called London in the US (Ohio, to be exact), Jamaica and Nigeria – “because greatness is not in one special place” – alluding to the soon-to-come show of athletic greatness at the Olympic Games which took place in London of the UK. Below I’m going to highlight the 6 reasons that I think Nike hit a homerun with this campaign.
1. Relevancy. Not only was the campaign relevant for the greatness that was obviously occurring at the Olympics, but it was relevant for and appealed very strongly to the everyday person looking at the Olympics with admiration and awe, and it helped them feel just as proud about their morning runs and marathons as would-be Olympians felt about their record-breaking, above-average abilities.
2. Timing. Not only did the campaign start just two days before the Opening Ceremonies, but its culmination was on the last day of the Olympics and sought out to make that day the most active day in history of Nike+, the name of Nike devices that measure a person’s activity and converts it into fuel which is able to be measured. The anticipated ‘most active day’ was given dramatic effect and Nike even displayed a countdown on its website.
3. Social presence. From YouTube, to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the campaign was hugely present and marked with the #findgreatness hashtag, which was also featured on the website and on advertisements. A cover photo and numerous posts on Facebook, a YouTube profile background and spot playlist, a Twitter profile background and numerous tweets, and images on Instagram with the inspiring words from the commercial all helped tie the campaign perfectly together. The brand was able to get people involved and the #findgreatness hashtag was popping up everywhere.
4. The message was so simple, yet so inspiring. I was a goner when I heard the monologue on the commerical.
5. Staying up-to-date. Although Nike wasn’t an official sponsor of the Olympics, they made it known that they were watching and cheering on Team USA. And while the “Find Your Greatness” campaign focused largely on everyday people, it also highlighted the accomplishments of the elite athletes participating in the Olympics.
6. Tastefully tip-toeing. I think that Nike did a very tasteful job of tip-toeing around the Olympic rules that ban non-official sponsors from certain activity related to the Games. To me, it’s as if the campaign said, “Hey we’re watching the Olympics with you and we’re rooting on Team USA, but we’re also rooting you on and encouraging you to find your greatness, too.”
Nike is golden because the brand was able to take what was going on in the world and tell its story in a way that was appealing and relevant – because at the end of the day, although it’s not explicitly stated, the campaign demonstrates that Nike helps you find your greatness, after all, it is the company’s innovative Nike+ capabilities that allowing followers of the movement to measure their greatness (not to mention the shoes and athletic wear).