Is Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad the best thing for the brand?

Is Nike's Colin Kaepernick Ad the best thing for the brand?

There is a saying that, “There is no such thing as good publicity or bad publicity, it’s just publicity!”

I think that stands true in the case of Nike.

Is Nike's Colin Kaepernick Ad the best thing for the brand?

Think about it, there are two kinds of people in the world who have seen the print ad featuring Colin Kaepernick (the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem at the games):

  1. Who support the ad
  2. Who hate the ad

For the people in number 1, Nike takes a lot of brownie points and establishes a better image for itself as the ad resonates with this group’s core values.

For those in number 2, a lot of people are burning their product or buying it to dump the product. Well, guess what’s that doing? Increasing Nike sales! I mean one has to buy a product to dump it. That translates into sale leading to profit.

Plus, Nike does not have to promote the Colin Kaepernick ad, the viral aspect of it takes it to a whole new level that’s possibly unprecedented.

So this is how it sums up:
Improved branding for group 1 + sales for burning shoes for group 2 + saved advertising costs = KHACHING!!! (for Nike).

Kudos to you Nike! And Wieden + Kennedy that came up with this concept.


Here are some interesting thoughts I have read and heard about the ad and the campaign:

  1. I was at a business growth conference (Trajectify Live) recently and one of the speakers (Joe Cotellese) mentioned that this is a great move by Nike, not because they know who their customers are, but also who their customers aren’t. And this ad resonates more with their target customer group.
  2. The College of the Ozarks, a private Christian school in Point Lookout, Missouri has banned all uniforms containing the Nike brand logo to protest against the ad. (Again, this is in the news and Nike is getting publicity for free)
  3. Today (September 13, 2018), the Nike stock closed at an all-time high, in the aftermath of this ad campaign. This is proof of Nike’s touchdown this season! Click here to read more.
  4. Have you notices the bazillion memes about the ad all around the world? All of these adding to the viral publicity of the brand. Check out some of the memes here.

PS: The video ad is truly inspiring. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here:




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