Nike recently made the controversial decision to use former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Collin Kaepernick as the focus of their most recent “Just do it” ad campaign. Many criticized Nike’s decision to use such a socially and politically divisive individual but the early results look like it was a gamble worth taking. According to this CNN article, Nike is getting the results they wanted with 170,000 Instagram followers and a Kaepernick Instagram post becoming the second-most liked post in Nike’s history (the first being a World Cup post). The Instagram post and commercial appear to resonate well with Nike’s core demographic of 18-34 year old consumers.
Not all gambles like this work out so successfully. Ask your students what made this a success? Watch the video (linked above) with the class and see if they pick up on what Nike did to keep the message positive and inspiring rather than polarizing.