Nike Colin Kaepernick Ad: The $6 Billion ‘Dream Crazy’ Lesson for Brands!

The Nike Colin Kaepernick ad wasn’t a
favorite among the shoe giant’s top executives.

Nike’s stock price fell by 2%.

Soon, angry Nike fans were all over social media.

Burning Nike trainers and boycotting
the brand started becoming a phenomenon.

Naturally, a brand killer.


Let’s check out the Nike Colin Kaepernick Youtube Ad first:

Calling a dream crazy is not an insult
It’s a compliment

Emotional storytelling is the best form of marketing.

Because it involves authenticity.

And that’s what will connect you with millions.

Believing in something even if it means sacrificing something!

The ad is authentic and emotionally engaging.

And those are one of the biggest reasons for its success.

The Anatomy of Nike Colin Kaepernick Ad

In 2011, Huston made history when he became the first and only skater to do a backside 270 nose blunt-slide at the inaugural Street League championship tournament.

Nyjah Huston fell in love with skateboarding at age four.

The whizkid was supporting his family by age 11.

Amazingly, the skateboarder has never broken a bone in his life.

Perhaps his vegan diet could be behind this!

We complain of facing difficult situations.

Perhaps this 10-year old wrestler Isaiah Bird can inspire us.

Isaiah was born without legs.

And yet, he plays football, soccer,
runs track, swims, surfs and skateboards.

The young kid exudes confidence.

There’s no excuses. No matter what, you keep doing it.
No matter what. Just do your thing. Have fun. That’s the most important thing.

A woman boxer with a Hijab?

Yes, Zeina Nassar is inspiring millions
of women out there to create their own rules.

As a Muslim woman in boxing, Nassar faced discrimination.

She was not allowed to wear her hijab while boxing.

That did not stop her from challenging the rules of boxing.

In the end, she won.

And this time, off the ring.

She says- I don’t just fight for myself,
I fight for all women

Stand-up paddler and surfer Kai Lenny
inspires us with his powerful words:

When you love what you do with a passion,
things you couldn’t have ever imagined happen

Basketball requires agility.

Or, at the very least, four limbs.

Megan Blunk does not agree.

The star wheelchair basketball player
inspires us with her spirit and dedication.

We saw her skills at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics.

Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge
has been hailed as the greatest marathoner of the modern era.

Football player Odell Beckham Jr.changed the rules of the game by catching a touchdown with one hand in a game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Don’t picture yourself wearing OBJ’s jersey, picture OBJ wearing yours.

A homecoming queen and a varsity linebacker
in the same person?

Yes, Alicia Woollcott does both with elan.

Charlie Jabaley lost 120 pounds and became an Ironman.

He even won against a life-long brain tumor.

Queer skater Lacey Baker is better known as
the “rebel queen of skateboarding.”

Skateboarder Lacey Baker was the
first openly Queer skater on Nike’s SB team.

Soccer player Alphonso Davies entered
Major League Soccer when he was just 15.

LeBron James and basketball are almost synonymous.

The three-time NBA champion
is known for his amazing moves in the court.

And for paying it forward with his philanthropic acts.

People hated and trolled quarterback Colin Kaepernick
when he kneeled during the national anthem
at the NFL games in 2016.

“Believe in something,” he says.
“Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Lack of equal pay for women has always been an issue.

The US Soccer’s Women’s National Team
decided to do something about it.

In 2016, they filed a complaint against
the US Soccer Federation.

Come 2017, and their pay as revised.

A one-handed NFL player?

Yes, Shaquem Griffin is the first one-handed NFL player.

Serena Williams has won 23 women’s Grand Slam titles.

She is an inspiration both on and off the court.

As per Bloomberg, Nike generated over $43 million
worth of media exposure in under 24 hours of the ad-launch.

Social media saw 2.7 million mentions
of Nike during that time frame.

Some good…Some not-so-good…

Nike added 170,000 new followers on its Instagram account.

The Millennials and Generation Z males enjoyed Nike’s initiative.

What’s the secret behind the success of the Nike
Colin Kaepernick Ad Campaign?

Dream Crazy Nike

Yes, the name is apt for what Nike did.

Deciding to partner up with Kaepernick might
have sounded “disastrous” to most Nike executives.

After all, the football player attracted much hatred
for his disrespect for the National Anthem.


Nike used this sentiment in a beautiful fashion.

By attaching it to a beautiful cause.

Never try to please everybody.

No matter what you do, there will be haters.

But in the process,
you will attract several supporters.

Nike’s ad got the wrath of many.

But it brought together a specific demographic of fans.

29.5 million views on YouTube stand testimony to this!

One of the comments read-
This isn’t just an ad, it’s a masterpiece.

Stand Your Ground

Nike knew that creating an ad around Kaepernick is a big risk.

This could have meant billions of dollars in losses.

But Nike knew what they were doing.

They went for it and didn’t change their proposition.

Sentimental Marketing allows brands to
connect with
audiences in a much better way.

It’s Not Always About Profits

Could the Nike dream crazy ad campaign attract losses?

Hell, yeah!

Consumers have a limited attention span.

Niche marketing is better than blind shooting.

You might lose some users.
But who cares.

Those might never have been in your niche anyways!

Stand strong. Stand tall.
Be strategic.

But don’t be scared of taking a stand.
Drive and sell value.

Don’t make it all about making money.

Nike’s stock has risen 5% since it partnered with Kaepernick.

Want to read the full text of Kaepernick’s narration?

“If people say your dreams are crazy
If they laugh at what you think you can do
Stay that way
Because what non-believers fail to understand is that calling a dream crazy is not an insult
It’s a compliment
Don’t try to be the fastest runner in your school
Or the fastest in the world
Be the fastest ever
Don’t picture yourself wearing OBJ’s jersey
Picture OBJ wearing yours
Don’t settle for homecoming queen or linebacker
Do both
Lose 120 pounds and become an Ironman after beating a brain tumor
Don’t believe you have to be like anybody to be somebody
If you’re born a refugee, don’t let that stop you from playing soccer
For the national team
At age 16
Don’t become the best basketball player on the planet
Be bigger than basketball
Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything
When they talk about the greatest team in the history of the sport, make sure it’s your team
If you have only one hand, don’t just watch football
Play it
At the highest level
And if you’re a girl from Compton, don’t just become a tennis player
Become the greatest athlete ever
Yeah, that’s more like it
So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy
Ask if they’re crazy enough.”

After the Colin Kaepernick Ad, Nike also launched
dream crazier ad with Serena Williams.

What do you think of the Nike Colin Kaepernick Ad?

Does it inspire you?

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