“Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is reserved for the chosen few—the superstars. The truth is, greatness is for all of us.”
Nike is known for its standout marketing and successful ad campaigns and its new ‘Find Your Greatness’ commercials have certainly got people talking.
This year’s Olympics established unprecedentedly strict rules to protect its sponsors. One rule, for example, attempts to prohibit anything that creates an association between a non-sponsor and the Olympics. Under this rule, organizations cannot use two or more of the words “Games,” “two thousand twelve,” “2012” and “twenty-twelve” in context with “London,” “medals,” “sponsors,” “summer,” “gold” and others.
Because Nike was not a sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, they had to get creative in their advertising tactics. The result? They steered away from Olympians in favor of ordinary, everyday athletes and created a campaign that was successful in not only getting people to talk about the new commercials but inspiring them as well.
The first advertisements started with a creative London twist—a tribute to non-Olympians in other London cities across the world: London, Ontario; London, Ohio; London, Nigeria; and Little London, Jamaica.
The newest spot features Nathan, a twelve-year-old from London, Ohio, running down a country road. The ad, posted to YouTube, has more than one million views and hundreds of positive comments. Nathan has truly inspired thousands.
When it comes to relating to an audience, Nike hit the mark. It wasn’t by some extravagant ad campaign about a world-champion athlete. Rather it was a look into the kind of competition and success an average person craves – a woman finishing a marathon or a little boy jumping off the high dive.
Nike spokesperson Charlie Brooks said, “The other way of putting it is that greatness doesn’t just happen in the stadiums of London. We’re saying that greatness can be anywhere for anyone and you can achieve it on your own terms.”
It isn’t to say there weren’t any swooshes at the Olympics – athletes everywhere wear Nike apparel and shoes – but it did show the world, as one ad concludes, that: “Greatness is not in one special place. It is not in one special person. Greatness is wherever somebody is trying to find it.”