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OPINION21 June 2012

How Nike is changing its game


Cannes-goers love to gossip and last night’s conversations were all about WPP buying a majority stake in AKQA. Among AKQA’s clients is Nike, whose vice president Stefan Olander gave one of the talks of the day yesterday alongside Bob Greenberg of digital ad agency R/GA, explaining their vision of the future and how Nike is transitioning beyond products and changing its game. 

“Nike is becoming a company that isn’t just focused on products, but is focused on products and services,” Olander said. “It used to be that when you bought a product, that was the end of the relationship. It’s classic marketing. ‘Great, you bought the product. See you in a year, when the next campaign comes along.’ That thinking has flipped on its head. Now, the purchase of any Nike product needs to be the beginning of the relationship we have with the consumer.”

Nike realised that rather than merely inspiring customers to ‘Just Do It’ it now needed to enable them too. This started with the introduction of the Nike+ initiative and is being taken to the next level by FuelBand, which is a device you wear on your wrist that tracks your activity and energy expenditure and translates that into “Nike Fuel.” Users can then sync the device to a computer or mobile phone, use software to create and manage exercise goals, and upload their data to the Nike+ website. This allows people to better measure performance and compete against their peers in new ways – taking bragging rights to a whole new level.

It’s not just about how to make a better shoe, Olander said, it’s about how they make a better you.  

  • Excitement is building as former US president Bill Clinton hits the stage tonight to give us his take on how advertising can build a better world. I’ll make sure to let you know how that goes in tomorrow’s post.
  • Another key topic of conversation yesterday was the announcement of the deodorant brand AXE (Lynx in the UK) & BBH winning the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix for their Excite campaign (below). We at Tuned In have worked on AXE for the last seven years so we were particularly happy to see them recognised for the fantastic work and also proud to have played a role in our own way by running their global online community.