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Offbeat 'Just Do It': The surprising and morbid origin story of Nike's slogan

22:00  08 september  2018
22:00  08 september  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Nike aligning Kaepernick with “ Just Do It ” is the latest chapter in the company’ s history of responding to issues resonating with the public at a given moment. But when it came down to it , Dolan said, Nike did not have to redo the slogan but redesign it with powerful and personal stories .

" Just Do It " is Nike ' s signature slogan , helping to turn a niche brand into a global multibillion-dollar giant and etching the phrase indelibly into the global The story of Gilmore has been long forgotten by most. But his final words live on in a manner no one would have imagined. In 1988, Dan Wieden, an

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Before Colin Kaepernick and “Just Do It,” there was Gary Gilmore and “Let’s Do It.”

In a plain T-shirt with a bag over his head, Gilmore was strapped into a chair, waiting for a firing squad to execute him at Utah State Prison. It was the morning of Jan. 17, 1977, and Gilmore, convicted of murdering a gas station employee and motel manager in Utah the year before, was to become the first person in the United States to be executed in nearly a decade. The author Norman Mailer wrote in his 1979 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Executioner’s Song” that shortly before his execution the 36-year-old Gilmore was asked if he had any last words.

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" Just Do It " is Nike ' s signature slogan , helping to turn a niche brand into a global multibillion-dollar giant and etching the phrase indelibly into the global As the Washington Post reported at the time, Gilmore did not flinch when he was executed. The story of Gilmore has been long forgotten by most.

Nike aligning Kaepernick with " Just Do It " is the latest chapter in the company' s history of responding to issues resonating with the public at a given moment. But when it came down to it , Dolan said, Nike did not have to redo the slogan but redesign it with powerful and personal stories .

“Let’s do it,” Gilmore reportedly said. As The Washington Post reported at the time, Gilmore did not flinch when he was executed.

The story of Gilmore has been long forgotten by most. But his final words live on in a manner no one would have imagined.

In 1988, Dan Wieden, an advertising executive who co-founded the Wieden+Kennedy agency in Portland, Ore., made something of a morbid pitch to Nike. Long before it became a dominant sports and fashion brand, Nike was struggling in 1987, failing to keep pace with the more fitness-focused approach of Reebok. Like Gilmore, Wieden was a Portland native. He remembered the crimes and the ending.

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Wieden said in the 2009 documentary “Art & Copy” that he looked toward the phrase “do it” and used it as the inspiration for his pitch to Nike.

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"Would Nike be the Nike that we know it today if it wasn't for ' Just Do It '?" I ask. For much more, check out Timothy Bella's Washington Post story " ‘ Just Do It ’: The Surprising And Morbid Origin Story Of Nike ’ s Slogan " and Natalia Mehlman Petrzela's Washington Post story "The New Colin

Nike aligning Kaepernick with “ Just Do It ” is the latest chapter in the company’ s history of responding to issues resonating with the public at a given moment. But when it came down to it , Dolan said, Nike did not have to redo the slogan but redesign it with powerful and personal stories .

“Certainly, it wasn’t a question of Dan being inspired by Gary Gilmore, but rather, it was about the ultimate statement of intention,” Liz Dolan, former chief marketing officer at Nike, told The Washington Post. “It had to be personal.”

Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, shown leaving court after being sentenced to die.© AP Photo/ Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, shown leaving court after being sentenced to die.

The idea was “Just Do It.” And seemingly everyone Wieden ran the slogan by hated the idea.

“I went to Nike and [Nike co-founder] Phil Knight said, ‘We don’t need that s—,'” Wieden recalled in 2015 to Dezeen magazine, an architecture and design publication. “I said, ‘Just trust me on this one.’ So they trusted me and it went big pretty quickly.”

Shortly thereafter, one of the first ads in 1988 for “Just Do It” featured Walt Stack, an 80-year-old marathon runner in San Francisco. (Stack died in 1995.) From there, “Just Do It” would become the company’s signature slogan, helping to turn a niche brand into a global multibillion-dollar giant and etching the phrase indelibly into the global memory that it’s almost interchangeable with the brand.

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" Just Do It " helped launch Nike into a global phenomenon, but the twisted tale that inspired the But what Nike fans might not realize is that the phrase is also quite morbid . He pitched the phrase “ Just Do It ” to the company. Executives weren’t convinced it would be the golden ticket, but they trusted his

In a plain T-shirt with a bag over his head, Gilmore was strapped into a chair, waiting for a firing squad to execute him at Utah State Prison. It was the morning of Jan.

On Monday, the slogan took another surprising turn. It was announced that Kaepernick, the NFL free agent quarterback whose kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police shootings of unarmed black men ignited a national controversy, will be the face for the 30th-anniversary campaign celebrating Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan. The news comes as Kaepernick, who could be heading to court for his collusion grievance against the NFL, signed a new multiyear deal to keep him with Nike. Response to the Kaepernick news has already created a backlash on social media, as detractors are voicing their displeasure with #NikeBoycott.

“Believe in something,” the ad stated. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

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Dolan, who told The Post she started at Nike the month the campaign launched and was at the company until 1998, recalled in “Art & Copy” that the phrase’s origin was not something that was widely talked about, even after it took off.

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In a plain T-shirt with a bag over his head, Gilmore was strapped into a chair, waiting for a firing squad to execute him at Utah State Prison. It was the morning of Jan.

‘ Just Do It ’: The surprising and morbid origin story of In September, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the new face of Nike ' s " Just Do It " campaign. Nike ' s iconic slogan " Just Do It " helped the company become a worldwide phenomenon after it was first introduced in 1988, and

“It never came up,” Dolan, host and co-creator of the “Satellite Sisters” podcast, told The Post of the origin story. “It was sort of a funny thing inside the company.”

Though the slogan attributed to much of the brand’s success, it was not the only reason for the turnaround. Ask Michael Jordan and Mars Blackmon, the cinematic character played by Spike Lee. In February 1988, Jordan and Lee teamed up to release films in support of the Air Jordan shoe line. “Just Do It” was also part of an aggressive marketing campaign in 1988, with Nike spending a reported $40 million on advertising that year. Still, Jerome Conlon, then the company’s director of brand planning and marketing insights, wrote in 2015 that “Just Do It” represented a major turning point.

“After the launch of Just Do It, Nike brand sales were rejuvenated, increasing 1,000% over the next 10 years,” Conlon wrote for Branding Strategy Insider. “And Nike truly stepped into its role as one of the world’s [premier] iconic and soulful brands.”

Wieden said in the 2009 documentary that neither he nor the members of his team gave much thought to the long-term influence of the ad, or the Gilmore connection.

“None of us really paid that much attention,” Wieden said in an interview in “Art & Copy.” “We thought, yeah that’d work.”

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Jan 06, 2018 · Nike ’ s “ Just Do It ” slogan was inspired by the last words of a murderer awaiting execution. The surprising and morbid origin story of Nike ’ s slogan .

Find out the story behind Nike ' s " Just Do It " slogan from the man who created it . The Origin Behind Nike ' s " Just Do It " Slogan Actually Has a Gruesome Plot Twist. Understandably, Wieden's morbid pitch was met with a fair amount of hesitation: "I went to Nike and [ Nike co-founder] Phil

He added: “I think what happened and it was sort of, like with a lot of things in life, it’s the most inadvertent things you don’t really see. People started reading things into it, much more than sport.”

Nike aligning Kaepernick with “Just Do It” is the latest chapter in the company’s history of responding to issues resonating with the public at a given moment. Two of its most prominent examples came in 1995. That year, Nike used “Just Do It” to focus attention on women’s rights in athletics with its “If You Let Me Play” ad.

That same year, Nike featured Ric Munoz, a Los Angeles marathon runner who was HIV positive.

The endurance of the slogan is a credit to the essence of the message, Dolan said. She told The Post she started at Nike shortly before the ad campaign was launched and the company would try to think of something better each year. She remembered the letters Nike would receive from people telling them how three simple words inspired them. With that came the pressure to create something just as good.

But when it came down to it, Dolan said, Nike did not have to redo the slogan but redesign it with powerful and personal stories. That ability to do so for 30 years, especially at a moment when Kaepernick and his story has taken center stage, is the campaign’s greatest legacy, she said.

“It wasn’t about a company telling you what to do,” Dolan said of “Just Do It.” “It was a company telling you that you know what the right thing is to do. It’s something like what Colin Kaepernick has done.”

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Nike's choice to prominently feature exiled NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the company's 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign prompted a number of consumers - who are opposed to Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem - to burn their shoes. However, the advertisement has done little to hurt the company on Wall Street, as Nike stock closed at an all-time high of $83.47 on Thursday. The news prompted Nike endorser and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James to bask in the company's success on Twitter, while also ribbing those who set fire to their own merchandise:Well I mean I guess WE’RE on

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