Case Study: Nike & Colin Kaepernick “Just Do It” Campaign

Case Study: Nike’s 30th Anniversary “Just Do It Campaign” With Colin Kaepernick


Brian Urvater and Courtney Vandegrift 

Comm 473: PR Campaigns

Professor Renea Nichols

September 28, 2021



When Nike released the 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, Nike’s brand leadership team members were taking a calculated risk. They knew full well how Kaepernick’s high profile protest might rub some of its consumer base the wrong way, yet they moved forward with it anyway In 2018, Nike launched a new ad campaign that was based on a strong political conflict capable of tearing apart the United States. The nation was polarized as a result of increased racism, police brutality, and social injustice. In the midst of an era labeled as the Black Lives Matter movement, where african americans felt oppressed and helpless due to the violent attacks against black communities across the country, Nike drew a great deal of attention with their new campaign strategy that showed support for black communities, athletes, and civil liberties proponents. The ad featured professional football player and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick, best known for taking a knee during an NFL game’s national anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality. The advertisement image began with a quote that stated “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Since Nike is a sports gear and apparel company, their products fit well into this campaign strategy because it highlights a celebrity athlete that is known worldwide. Their main objectives were to bring headline attention to the campaign by highlighting athletes that were pushing boundaries in society in some way.




This case study’s purpose is to research the public relations methods used in the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” Nike social media campaign featuring prominent NFL figure Colin Kaepernick. With input from former NFL player and founder of Go Big Recruiting Ross Tucker, this paper reflects the communications strategies used by Nike’s PR department to send a specific message to their target audience and influence their perception and brand loyalty. By taking a stand for a controversial social figure during a time of political disarray, Nike took a risk to convey their brand as a platform that brings attention to important social and political matters. Since the launch of the campaign in 2018, Nike has continued to represent themselves as an organization that supports local communities and athletes. By bringing more thought to important social issues such as systemic racism and police brutality, their objective is to use sports as a platform to accelerate social movements and reflect their brand as an organization in favor of activism and reform. Their message to consumers is strong and impactful, showing consumers that it is more than just sports, but also about making the world a better place by giving athletes a platform to discuss social problems and encouraging young athletes to take a stand for their own values and beliefs.


Communication Plan


Situation Analysis:


Nike is a retail organization that provides high quality athletic products that are used by professional sports organizations and aspiring athletes around the world. The light weight material of their clothing and the superiority of their sports products have made Nike the most prominent sports brand in the world. The company has partnerships with several professional leagues including NCAA, NBA, MLB, and NFL. In terms of distributing products, Nike has over 1,000 factories and over a million employees, which makes for a fast, efficient distribution process that translates to major financial success. The company brands itself well with a globally recognizable swoosh logo and a short, confident slogan known as “Just Do It,” which represents their mission to inspire athletes to pursue their wildest hopes and dreams. Nike not only uses famous athletes to endorse their products and engage with their sports-devoted audience, but the organization also pays close attention to social trends and issues that are impacting the United States. By using social responsibility to advance their agenda, the organization increases their popularity and widespread attention, and ultimately influences brand loyalty among consumers. Additionally, the use of controversial social justice campaigns has proven to be beneficial to Nike’s reputation of goodwill because it can lead to national headlines and widespread media attention that helps guide public opinion in the area of social awareness.

The organization depends on the United States market for revenue more than any other country. 40% of Nike’s revenue comes from North America, which leaves the company exposed to factors that can negatively impact the business. It presents a high risk when a company focuses on a single market because public relations and marketing campaigns can backfire if that specific market does not agree with the ideas presented by the organization’s campaign. Accordingly, this specific case study reviews a high risk social media tactic during a time of social dispute in the United States. With Nike’s growing competition, it is important for them to discover new strategies of engaging the public and grabbing the attention of their audience in which they simultaneously represent the values and beliefs of their brand.

In 2016, world renown San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a stand against social injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem before a nationally televised game. This act led to public backlash from angry consumers over the idea that a high profile figure disrespected the U.S. flag in front of thousands of people. However, this performance of social activism came at a time of mass hysteria during BLM movements, where the nation was polarized due to increased rates of police cruelty and inequity among black communities. Young black athletes around the country were determined to fight for their civil rights and protect their liberties. In their pursuit to support athletes and black communities, Nike supported social justice activism by launching a social media campaign that focused on the controversial behavior of the NFL star. The organization’s goal was to convey the bigger picture of sports by incorporating the concept that athletics can be used as a platform to bring attention to important social and political issues. At the same time, Nike hoped to encourage consumers to follow their largest dreams and stand up for what they believe in. This multifaceted technique was a unique way of expressing the organization’s core standards and values. In a time of social dispute, Nike aimed to gain massive media attention through the campaign by developing a high risk social media strategy that would get people talking about sports and its relationship to real world issues.




Following his idea to kneel during the national anthem, an outbreak of disapproval for Colin Kaepernick surged throughout the nation. A poll during the 2016 season named Kaepernick the most disliked player in the league, with 37% of caucasians saying they “disliked him a lot,” and 42% of African Americans saying they “liked him a lot.” However, according to survey research conducted by YouGov to determine how Nike customers feel about Colin Kaepernick, 46% of responses revealed a positive outlook on the NFL star while 23% see him in a negative light. This reveals that a majority of Nike customers support social activism and the push for reform in the area of racial inequality and police cruelty. Therefore, by creating a social media campaign around Colin Kaepernick and social activism, Nike hoped to strategically reach their target audience and influence public opinion about their brand. However, other research states that 53% of Americans object to the idea of kneeling during the national anthem because they consider it to be disrespectful to the flag and the country as a whole. There was a high risk in launching a marketing campaign that was created from these statistics, but Nike is a company that thrives on taking risks with the public because they want their organization to be unique and stand out among others.

According to the Washington Post, the decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the main figure in their ad campaign was popular among young Americans. Cindy Boren from the Washington Post stated that “a Quinnipiac University poll showed voters approved of Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick in its latest ad campaign, 49 percent to 37 percent.” The poll also determined that there was a large age gap among people who agreed and disagreed, “with those 18 to 34 approving of Nike’s decision by a 67-21 margin, while voters 65 and older disapproved of the decision, 46 to 39 percent.” Overall, the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign was creative in the sense that it took a controversial social issue and turned it into something positive and innovative, in hopes that it would be beneficial to social movements, activist athletes, and eventually would influence product sales.

On the political side of the research that went into this campaign, there was a strong disconnect between opinions of whether kneeling during the national anthem was considered to be morally acceptable. According to a NY Post article, in a poll of 1,570 Americans, “Democrats strongly favored the right to protest, at 77%. Only 20% of Republicans, and 20% of self-described Trump voters, said yes. Along racial lines, 77% of blacks, 57% of Hispanics and 47% of whites answered positively.”

Nike also collected data about the overall reactions of consumers to brand’s voices about social issues and controversial topics. In a poll conducted by Sprout Social, 1,000 American consumers were asked if “people want brands to take stands on important issues.” 66% of consumers responded that “it is important for brands to take public stands on social and political issues.” This information was important to Nike’s decision to launch this campaign because it conveys what consumers are looking for in a brand. Many consumers, especially younger people, look for brands that they can personally connect with from an ethical standpoint. Furthermore, a 2017 survey from Edelman found that “the majority of millennials (60%) are belief-driven buyers” that trust a company based on the company’s brand identity and social/political beliefs. 53% of Millennials pay attention to how companies that they purchase goods and services from act with political and social matters. Moreover, 80% of teens, which is a huge target audience for Nike, support the Black Lives Matter movement. Looking at this research from an economic standpoint, younger generations are crucial for Nike to engage with through tactics such as these. According to a Forbes article by Jules Schroeder, “Millennials have $200 billion in buying power and Gen Z has $143 billion in direct buying power”, which is an area Nike wanted to take full advantage of with this campaign strategy. Nike’s decision to take a public stand on a social issue and promote Kaepernick in order to gather more attention and connect with their audience on a deeper level was a thoroughly researched public relations strategy. 




Nike aimed to create a strategic communications plan that highlighted social and political issues that were impacting athletes and communities around the country. More specifically, the campaign intended to support the revolution against social injustice in black communities due to implications of racism through police brutality and racial profiling. In order to accurately display their support for social movements occurring throughout the U.S., Nike centered their campaign strategy around Colin Kaepernick, whose decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest against racism and social injustice conveyed his will to sacrifice his career for the greater good. However, his actions on the field also sparked mass amounts of controversy throughout the country. 

One objective for this strategy was to raise awareness about an important issue. Nike describes themselves as an organization committed to addressing systematic racism and supporting local communities. They thrive on showing their support for social movements and using their platform to address underlying societal issues. By combining the sports world with the need to raise awareness about important topics, the campaign strategy targets a wide array of people. Not only did Nike desire to catch the eye of black communities, athletes, and sports fans by promoting a controversial social problem through a large, sport-based platform, but the organization also aimed to target millennials and Gen Z-ers in hopes of positive responses in a harsh political climate. Additionally, Nike planned to gain widespread media attention that would advertise the goodwill of the brand and appeal to younger, more prosocial generations. Additionally, the attention gathered from the campaign would boost brand loyalty and social media engagement. Although it involved high risk, the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign was something that yielded extreme success.

Another objective included exemplifying the organization’s mission statement. As expressed by the founder of Kaye Media Partners Karen Mcfarlane, “Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. Colin Kaepernick, through his advocacy, conviction, and talent on and off the field, exemplifies those values in the strongest of terms.” By launching a strategy that uses a prominent athlete who is known for social activism in the campaign, it will raise awareness for the issue and positively impact the social credibility of Nike. Additionally, by utilizing a notable person who gained national attention for sparking a controversial issue, Nike aimed to earn massive media attention that would engage their audience in order to promote the ethics and goodwill of the brand. This strategy brings attention to social concerns and connects the activism for these issues to Nike’s brand. Furthermore, this campaign tactic gives athletes a platform to speak out about their views on social issues, thereby impacting a large target audience of sports fans, young athletes, social activists, and black communities. Through this campaign strategy, Nike conveys that their organization stands by its athletes through political chaos and controversy, which sends a clear message about the brand’s identity to the target audience about what kind of company Nike intends to be known as. This communications plan proves that the company is principled and loyal to its publics, and is willing to fight for social justice despite the risks involved.






To execute this plan, Nike made the decision to partner with notable NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The campaign, launched in Fall 2018, includes a close up image of Kaepernick with the quote, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” across the picture. The famous Nike swoosh logo and slogan is printed on the bottom. This poster was distributed through social media platforms and on billboards. The campaign was first announced through Kaepernick’s social media accounts, which increased the amount of initial views and shares. In addition to social media shares, the image was also printed on billboards in prominent locations such as Times Square.

The poster is paired with a full advertisement called “Nike Dream Crazy” that features young and experienced athletes and encourages viewers to follow their dreams despite any roadblocks that may hinder their success. The narrator of the commercial says, “because calling a dream crazy is not an insult, it’s a compliment.” Not only does the ad stimulate viewers to push for their biggest goals, but it also addresses the idea that it’s bigger than sports; it’s about making a difference in society and the world. The ad expresses this message by featuring pro athletes such as Lebron James and Colin Kaepernick. A video of all star NBA player Lebron James speaking out at a rally is accompanied by the narrator saying “don’t become the best basketball player on the planet, be bigger than basketball.” This message encourages the audience to take a stand against social issues just as Lebron James and Colin Kaepernick have. 

The audience is able to see Nike as a company that protects social equity and works for the benefit of communities. The commercial tries to spread the message that sports are not just for entertainment, but they are a platform for spreading valuable messages and ideas that can positively impact society. Another theme is also presented in the commercial that reinforces the idea that people should work for their dreams no matter what barriers they have to break through. This message is presented with the stories of athletes like Shaquem Griffin, who plays in the NFL with only one hand, and Serena Williams, who grew up in Compton and later became one of the most talented athletes in the world. Overall, the creative aspect of this campaign sends two messages to publics: It’s bigger than sports, and anything is possible if you put your mind to it. As per PR and customer service expert Anna Cachares and digital marketing specialist Beth Kramer, “Nike released the Nike Dream Crazy ad featuring Kaepernick on YouTube, which has over 2.6 million views. It is worth noting that Nike launched these ads on social media, not on traditional channels, which suggests that they are targeting younger generations (Millennials and Gen Z).”

In addition to the graphic and advertisement that Nike launched in the fall of 2018, Nike also began selling merchandise that symbolizes Kaepernick’s impact. For the four year anniversary of Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem, Nike created an all black jersey with the number 7. The number 7 is representative of Kaepernick’s jersey when he took a  knee playing for the San Francisco 49ers.  “Through his continuous commitment, the number 7 jersey has become an iconic symbol for progress and positive change” (Nike). This jersey sold out on the Nike website. “True to each other.
 True to the movement.
 True to 7,” (Nike). Selling merchandise that goes along with the social activism campaign also adds to the execution of the overall strategy because it further emphasizes the brand’s dedication to their cause. Nike is able to make extra profit off the campaign’s theme by selling custom jerseys that symbolize working towards progressive social movements and change.

Analysis and Evaluation:


This case study introduces the idea that Nike’s PR department is willing to abide by a “high risk, high reward” policy. The fact that research showed a split between public opinion of the Colin Kaepernick crisis in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement conveys that Nike is a brand focused on supporting high profile figures that are willing to push for social reform. In Nike’s “Black Community Commitment” page on their website, they reference that addressing systematic racism and encouraging action and reform is a top priority of the company. The brand identity Nike creates through supporting a controversial figure’s social advocacy is  a great method of engaging their younger audience. Nike uses sports as a way to bring people together in unifying fashion to bring attention to important social issues and 

spark change. Their use of innovative social media strategies not only increases their reputation of being a brand of goodwill and ethics, but it also grabs massive amounts of attention from media and consumers. By using Colin Kaepernick as a main figure to promote social activism in the area of racism and police brutality, the organization was able to make national headlines and promote their brand as an inspiring, community-driven company that is focused on using sports to make a change in the world. Former NFL player and entrepreneur Ross Tucker agrees that it is a lot more common in recent years for athletes to have a cause and stand up for issues that are important to them, and brands are beginning to take advantage of this factor because large audiences are likely to be “receptive and supportive to that.” A large company like Nike is able to take risks with controversial issues to gain media attention because they have a wide array of publics. However, In Tucker’s case, he tends to stay neutral with political statements because he does not want to “turn off” one side of his audience as a result of conflicting viewpoints. With their big 

following, Nike has developed a strategy of using risky PR tactics to promote the goodwill of their brand, which is something that other smaller companies are unable to do in today’s political climate.

The poster image was successful in generating attention and presence on social media, and the video ad was successful in spreading important messages and influencing public opinion. According to Scharninghausen in the business wire press release, the single best thing about the ad as per 48% of viewers was the theme and message. In the first 24 hours of the campaign’s launch, Nike brought in $43 million worth of earned media, and their brand mentions increased 135% with over 2 million mentions (Cachares & Kramer).  In addition, “Advertising analytics company Ace Metrix says that the Nike Kaepernick ad is “less polarizing than social media suggests.” Just 13% of consumers reported that they were less likely to buy from Nike after viewing the Dream Crazy Kaepernick ad. This dropped to 10% among Millennials and 6% to Gen Z.” 

Overall, the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign was created because it took a controversial social issue and turned it into something positive and innovative, in hopes that it would be beneficial to social movements, activist athletes, and eventually would influence product sales. In this case study, Nike proved that by supporting communities and athletes affected by social issues in the United States through unique social media marketing campaigns, and by tactically using prominent figures, target audiences can be successfully reached, ultimately having a positive impact on a brand’s social and economic success.


Current Information: (


The number 7 jersey being sold on the Nike website symbolizes the progress Kaepernick has contributed to the Black and Brown communities. This all black jersey is created and sold for the anniversary of Kaepernick’s impact. The corporate website offers insight into Nike’s mission and goals. “Our mission is what drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainable, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.” This current information ties into the case study topic because it provides information about Nike’s determination to make a difference in society by positively impacting communities in times of social despair. On the corporate website, there are four subcategories that describe the values of Nike as an organization, which ultimately support the campaign strategy for the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” slogan. The first category is “innovation,” where the company states that “to make big leaps, we take big risks,” which is true to the Coin Kaepernick issue because Nike supported an individual who was extremely controversial at the time for his activism for social justice. Next, the website refers to the team at Nike, where they describe their team of workers as “empowered, diverse, and inclusive,” ultimately representing the brand as a team that is united by sports. This is a feature that was represented in the Colin Kaepernick advertisement and currently persists as a main theme of Nike to encourage diversity and harmony despite cultural or racial backgrounds. Additionally, the website offers a look into “social and community impact,” where the company describes their belief that the power of sports can help change the world for the better. This concept was expressed with emphasis in the Kaepernick campaign, and is still a main theme of the organization that they continue to work towards today. Finally, Nike references “sustainable business innovation” on the corporate website to highlight a “sustainable future” in sports where athletes are able to thrive on a healthy, fair playing field and simultaneously use the power of team sport to improve social issues and positively impact the world. 


Current Impact:

Nike’s legacy from the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign continues to live on and have an impact on society today. In a 2019 New York Times article titled “Colin Kaepernick ‘Dream Crazy’ Ad Wins Nike an Emmy,” Nike’s ad campaign conveys its creative nature as the advertisement was awarded an Emmy for being an outstanding and creative commercial. The idea of including a social aspect that relates to sports not only attracts young viewers and sports fans to the brand, but it also engages an audience of politically interested publics. People interested in politics and social activism now see Colin Kaepernick as the face of the NFL for his actions on the field, and they are more impacted by Nike for their brand values and support of a controversial athletic figure (Junge Welt, 2021).


The organization continues to support athletes that stand up for social movements and systematic racism, leading to a return of support from activist athletes. According to a 2021 Huffpost article, “longtime Collingwood sponsor Emirates condemned racism and said it was behind the club “proactively adopting changes as per the recommendations identified in their report.” In a statement.” As a result of media success with Colin Kaepernick and the will to work towards a better future for the world, Nike continues to use the same PR strategy to promote their brand and connect with their target audience that supports defending social movements. Nike expressed that the company stood “against racism and discrimination in any form,” and that it believed “in the power of sport to create an equal playing field for all”. Current articles illustrate the idea that Nike’s media success in a harsh political climate during their 2018 campaign suggests that the same social media tactics can be effective in encouraging brand loyalty among consumers: “Since Nike is known for large-scale advocacy campaigns to drive social change through sport, most notably with US footballer Colin Kaepernick, one expert said the brand could see its partnership with Collingwood as an opportunity rather than a PR nightmare (Williams, 2021).” Their new campaign with Collingwood will accomplish the same goals because it has potential for controversy while also articulating the company’s focus on fixing social issues and resolving systematic racism around the world.

Nike also continues to push for the advancement of social movements by spending money on lobbying efforts. Years down the road, the company still pushes the idea of being viewed as a social activism organization by lobbying on topics such as physical education grants, taxes and climate change, as well as the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.” Nike is an organization that has been heavily criticized in the past for their use of sweatshops and child labor in developing countries. “‘In the first three quarters of 2020, Nike spent $920,000 on in-house lobbying of Congress and other federal agencies,’” the New York Times reports” (Lowe 2020). In order to convey to the public that the company holds good intentions and stands against unfair labor, they donate large sums of money to lobbying efforts. These issues have stemmed directly from the Kaepernick “Just Do It” campaign as Nike continues to adhere to the public by supporting social movements and the theme of making the world a better place.

Nike also continues to push their campaign with Kaepernick by commemorating anniversaries of his call to action with the kneeling protest. Four years after the social activism outbreak, Nike still pushes the campaign by selling special all black #7 Colin Kaepernick jerseys to increase profits and build off the highly successful campaign. The company is able to continue their successful campaign by showing constant support for the activist athlete, commemorating him by holding special anniversaries that honor his stand against systemic racism and social issues related to the BLM movement. According to a recent article by Aaron Colen on Blaze Media, Kaepernick released a statement on social media about the bigger picture of sports and football, which is an idea that Nike forms around their brand through this campaign: “Four years ago, I took a knee to protest against systemic racism and social injustice,” Kaepernick wrote on social media. “It was that day that the number on my jersey would come to represent something greater than football, something greater than me. Since then, the number 7 jersey has been a symbol for advancing the liberation and well-being of Black & Brown communities. Thank you for staying True.” People seem to resonate with the idea of buying Kaepernick apparel to support a social movement; “Nike released just two products related to Kaepernick, both of which were produced in seemingly low volumes and quickly sold out. They have been out of stock for months, and consumers searching ‘Colin Kaepernick’ on Nike’s website are encouraged to sign up to be notified about ‘future Colin Kaepernick products,’” as per a NY Times article. Nike is able to profit off these continuous social media campaigns because the connection to Colin Kaepernick went viral online and had an emotional connection with many viewers. 




Despite all of the reactions from consumers, Nike did not put out any news releases for this campaign. The company communicated to their audiences and launched the campaign primarily through social media and on billboards. On September 3, 2018 Colin Kaepernick posted a tweet of the Nike image he was featured in. Nike retweeted this image and then launched the video advertisement a few days later. The only comment about the case came from Gino Fisanotti, North America’s vice president of brand for Nike. “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” (Nike features NFL’s Kaepernick among athletes in ‘Just Do It’ campaign). Nike reported to ESPN about the partnership, and that business was the first one to spread the news.

Although Nike did not make many public statements, multiple media agencies and businesses made a comment about the campaign. The National Football League (NFL) issued a statement in support of the campaign just one day after the launch.‘“The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity,” NFL executive vice president of communications and public affairs Jocelyn Moore said Tuesday in a statement. “We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities. The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action,” (NFL, 2018). This statement came to a surprise to some, since Kaepernick has been in a collusion case with the NFL since 2017.

Other media outlets covered the issue emphasizing the losses Nike was facing, and not on the issue Nike was taking a stance on. News outlets talked about how consumers were boycotting the brand. The Business Insider featured an article that talked about the hashtag, #Justburnit, which trended on social media with images of people destroying their Nike merchandise. This response toward the campaign showed a side of anger and opposed the collaboration.


This case study of Nike’s partnership with Colin Kaepernick provides a lot of insight in the field of public relations. Public relations professionals can learn from Nike’s strategies in this case to implement a strategic communications plan that engages their own audience in a meaningful way. Nike took a calculated risk when partnering with a public figure known for his polarizing beliefs. However, with Nike’s plan, they were able to create a campaign that drew in the attention of others. Their campaign provided the company an opportunity to use their platform to make a difference in society. Touching upon societal issues can be difficult, but when done appropriately they have a great impact. In addition to how Nike executed their plan, public relations professionals can take away how to use multiple platforms to get a message across to their audience. Nike utilized social media to spread their campaign as well as billboards in standout locations to grab the attention of others.



Another corporation who had a similar case to Nike was Pepsi. Pepsi’s “Live for Now – Moments”  campaign. This campaign was a video designed to come across as an advertisement that promotes diversity, unification, and touch on the issue of police brutality, similar to Nike. They also featured a public figure, Kenall Jenner to grab their audience’s attention. However, the advertisement was poorly executed and outraged many viewers due to the insensitivity in the short film. The advertisement shows a diverse crowd of people coming together to protest. The crowd is then joined by celebrity Kendall Jenner, who leaves her photoshoot to join the protest and hand one of the police officers a pepsi. After he takes a sip, everyone who engaged in the protest celebrates. The execution of this advertisement made the issues of racial inequality and police brutality a simple fix. Pepsi released a statement apologizing for the advertisement and explaining that their intended message was not relayed appropriately. This advertisement was taken off air almost immediately.

Another campaign that was successful in getting their message across to viewers was Airbnb. Airbnb created a campaign in response to President’s Trump  closing the American borders to refugees in 2018. The advertisement aired during the Superbowl and was highly favored by the audience. The campaign was called “We Accept” and showed pictures of a bunch of different people of different nationalities. The quote on the advertisement read We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” Similar to Nike, Airbnb used their platform to address racial inequalities in society and bring attention to this issue. Although they did not use a celebrity, their timing of the advertisement got a huge amount of attention.

I believe that the tactics Nike used in this campaign were exclusive to their organization because it is difficult for a brand to side with a political viewpoint without losing a large chunk of their viewers. In a polarized political climate, organizations must be wary of the consequences of taking a side that part of their audience will not agree with. However, a company as big as Nike researched how people felt about Colin Kaepernick’s actions in order to determine the best strategies to implement into the campaign. Since they adhered to their young target audience and took a risk that conveys their brand identity and represents Nike as a brand of goodwill that supports social movements and activism, I think their PR department successfully accomplished their goals and objectives. I think their use of a prominent social activist figure in sports was a perfect way to display their brand identity and engage the most people possible. They were able to clearly get their message across to viewers that people should express their beliefs and fight for their values, even if it means losing everything you have worked for. After all, this idea of standing up for your own principles is the whole premise of the “Just Do It” slogan. Therefore, as a public relations professional, it is clear to me that their strategy of showing how people can “just do it” in a way that represents sports and social activism simultaneously was a remarkable way of gaining media attention and support from consumers.




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