One of Nikes’ earliest advertising campaigns, ‘There is no finish line”, debuted in1977.
It’s 2022 and I posted it yesterday on my personal Instagram. I read a bit about it. On one of the T-Shirts I wear from Nike in the front bottom, has a written slogan. It was There is no finish line. I didn’t know much about it as I questioned how is there no finish line as there is always a finish line.
When I was running my 100km ultra-marathon from London to Brighton earlier this year, all I could think was the finish line after 50km.
But I read the copy yesterday and it just clicked and made sense.
You see everything clicked and I got inspired by the advert.
What makes this concept great is that even though Nike ditched the slogan and moved on to a new slogan — it followed its DNA.
We will never stop trying to excel, to produce running shoes that are better and better every year. Beating the competition is relatively easy. But beating yourself is a never-ending commitment.
A valuable marketing lesson we can learn from this is that even back then in 1977 they didn’t start speaking about the product. They didn’t advertise a running shoe and said this is the latest shoe, buy it now. They started with a concept, a concept that inspires runners. In the end, they communicated about their mentality as a company, the ‘sale’ was in the end.
If you look at the structure of a great story you will notice that great stories always have a structure and for brand stories, the product and what we do is the last thing. I shared the structure of a brand story in my book called Not Another Pair of Shoes, you can get it everywhere where books are sold.
Did you realize that we just spoke/read about one advert that was done 45 years ago? That’s incredible. I bet we can’t remember one advert from 2021 let alone one that was 45 years ago from a company that sells shoes.
Let’s create better purpose driven marketing.