Find Your Greatness

It’s undeniable that we’ve all dreamed of becoming great. As children we found something we loved to do and through adolescence strived to pursue or for the chance to pursue it. Athletically wise, Nike is notorious for creating highly emotional fueled advertisements designed to prod at the desires of aspiring professional athletes. I can’t speak for everyone, but pursuing my dreams was a real emotional battle and certain advertisements could even re-fuel my desire to surpass myself everyday.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s fourth Hierarchy of Needs is: The Need for Esteem. Basically, it is need for respect. Not only however, is it the need for others to respect you but it is the need the have a sense of self-respect, a satisfaction of one’s accomplishments. Whether it’s is fame and recognition or the calm found in realizing one’s worth, companies take advantage of this deep strung emotion to market their products.


In Nike’s basketball commercial, “Ordinary People“, they tug on the drive of athletes that strive to attain or even surpass their potential. Here, they target the human need for self esteem. In this commercial, Nike portrays a young man restlessly working to become the greatest version of himself. While here he does not try to attain fame or greatness, it is the recognition from others and his inner acknowledgment of himself that drives him to continue to work hard. The purpose of the commercial is to create a mirror image among the audience with similar passions therefor them to identify with the character portrayed in the ad. And subtly, from the nike swoosh, and the black and white nike screen terminating the video, we associate this emotional drive and identity to the brand: Nike.

Nike also often uses the hero archetype in it’s advertisements, check out this article that further explores this strategy: