In early autumn, Nike’s controversial ‘Just Do It’ advertising campaign starring former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick gained a huge degree of cut-through in the US and here in Europe.
At the time, YouGov BrandIndex data indicated that Nike’s Attention score (whether someone has heard anything about a brand, positive or negative, in the past two weeks) rocketed following the campaign’s release. Its score moved from +29 to +58 in the US, and +10 to +23 in the UK.
Now, Nike has released a new campaign – this time featuring England and Manchester City footballer, Raheem Sterling.
In a recent game at Chelsea, Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse. In the aftermath, Sterling used his Instagram page to comment on the portrayal of young, black footballers in the media.
Increasingly, we’re aware of high-profile businesses making a stand on important social issues that are being discussed by the public.
YouGov’s Social Voice of Brands Report shows that 80% of Brits believe that it’s important for brands to have a clear, transparent point of view on wider issues in society. Over half also say that they are more likely to buy from a brand that expresses a view they support (51%), showing that the benefits of divisive advertising can outweigh the risks.
Although Nike’s inclusion of Sterling in its campaign may be less divisive than Kaepernick, it does indicate a continued willingness from Nike to remain at the forefront of the debate around important social issues - both in the UK and the US.
Choosing to partner with Sterling appears to make sense too; data from YouGov’s Profiles tool shows that 48% of the UK have a positive impression of Nike as a brand. However, this increases to 53% among those who ‘like’ or ‘really like’ Raheem Sterling.
As discussed back in October, Nike is cleverly appealing to its target demographic with its stance on these issues by not only choosing to work with public figures that appeal to and are supported by current and potential customers, but by also sharing the viewpoints of the majority of its target customer base too.
Article previously seen on CITY AM.