The famous Nike slogan.
The phrase was coined by Dan Wieden* in 1988, and has, I’m sure, become ingrained in the minds of millions of people – as well as indelibly linked to the Nike ‘tick’, formally know as the Swoosh.
Advertising makes millions based on it’s understanding of the power of words, the promotion of an idea, the planting of a seed. Those 3 words” “Just Do It” were 20 years old in July 2008, and amoungst other things, have been cited as inspiring people to: “…leave abusive husbands and achieve heroic feats.” (source, Oregon live.com)
Those words were on my mind a few weeks back, inspired by the frustration of coming face-2-face with a missed opportunity which seemed to have happened merely because someone chose not to ‘Just Do It’, not to speak up, not to take a risk…only to appear still, years later, to have some lingering reflection/regret of what might have been.
The words are back on my mind today, as I digest news I received recently that will mean big changes, big changes. The temptation is there to not take the risk, to question the craziness of decisions which will soon have to be made, to wonder how on earth this has all finally come together…The desire is also there to ‘Just Do It’.
Yes those words are part of an ad campaign to ‘make’ us want to buy trainers, and other sporting goods, yes they are used imaginatively/manipulatively to create profit for a commercial business giant, but they surely only have that power as they sum up the longing of some, maybe many of us, who wished we had, could, or would just do something. Un-hinder ourselves, take the risk, risk being vulnerable, pluck up the courage, change something, and just do whatever ‘it’ is.
I feel as if I’m now sounding like I’m giving a pep talk, Janice’s motivation 101 🙂 so I’m gonna leave it there.
*It was agency co-founder Dan Wieden who coined the now-famous slogan “Just Do It” for a 1988 Nike ad campaign, which was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the top five ad slogans of the 20th century, and the campaign has been enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. San Franciscan Walt Stack was featured in Nike’s first “Just Do It” advertisement that debuted on July 1, 1988. Wieden credits the inspiration for the slogan to “Let’s do it”, the last words spoken by Gary Gilmore before he was executed.