Nike has always capitalized on the star athletes who represent them, it’s the main focus of their marketing. Nike’s top athlete, LeBron, is such an icon that any word he says is parsed and analyzed endlessly on hundreds of media outlets. Their ad team capitalized on his team’s recent defeat in the NBA Finals.
New Nike LeBron ad pic.twitter.com/p5Of0avA1u
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 21, 2015
It’s a bold ad that is able to draw from defeat and give Nike a gritty edge. I could analyze the words and the message displayed in the simple image, however that’s what thousands of other sites have done and will continue to do. I’m more interested in the source of this ad and its viral course.
The ad was placed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer where it could only reach at maximum the 500,000 Ohioans who read it. Rovell finding it and tweeting it may not have been planned by Nike, but his tweet immediately doubled the number of people who saw the ad with his 682k followers. The ad was bold and interesting so the top media outlets picked it up and each wrote a small blurb while linking to Rovell’s tweet. So now here we are with millions of people having seen a newspaper ad with no further money invested by Nike. They didn’t even post the ad on their own Twitter account that has 5 million followers! It’s amazing what the internet can do to increase the value of an ad these days because it can generate page views. And they said newspapers were dead.