Few brands in the world are as recognizable as Nike. It isn't just a dominant sports brand. It is sports. Over the years, Nike has become renowned for capturing the essence of competition in the most epic ways imaginable. A Nike ad isn't just something that compels you to slap a swoosh onto your shoes. It's something you'll play on your phone while you're at the gym — in need of that final boost to finish your workout triumphantly. Watch this video, and see if you don't feel like bench pressing your sofa.
Competition. Talk about a lucrative space to completely own! Who isn't competitive in some form or another? Nike has managed to control competition in the same way that Coca Cola has managed to control happiness. Everyone is fighting for second. Because of its position, Nike could stay in that sweet spot and do just fine. Continue to find innovative ways to become the audience's motivating voice that screams, "Yes, you can!" with intensity and drama.
I thought I had Nike figured out in this regard, and I respected it because Nike consistently delivered high-quality content. But recently, I was surprised to see something I didn't expect. Nike recognized a change in a big part of its audience, young women, and it adjusted accordingly — by toning down the epic.
I had an inkling that Nike got this right. My girlfriend, who is definitely in the target market, confirmed that Nike nailed it. Working out, especially for young women, has become part of a healthy lifestyle. It's not always about "being the best" or finding greatness by pushing yourself beyond your limits. It doesn't always require hours and hours of dedication, day after day.
Sometimes, for some people, getting up and going to the gym for a casual 30 minutes is a huge victory. Nike found a smart, funny, relatable way to acknowledge this. Because of its iconic position, Nike is a super hero of sorts, but this new "Better For It" campaign does a hell of a job showing everyone that there's a regular 'ol Bruce Wayne beneath the mask. See one of the spots for yourself, and tell me what you think.
When I saw this spot, I remembered just how important it is to pay attention to your audience — and to be willing to change as they do. It's easy to see why a young company trying to find its way would change with its audience, needing to track the target market's every move. But even the juggernauts, who are so seemingly established and set in their ways, need to do this to stay on top. Come to think of it, it's probably one of the main reasons that they do.