Best Branded Content- Nike's Inner Dialogue

Posted in Insights

In the world of content, thoughts can be a powerful strategy. At least that’s what Nike is showing us in their Wieden & Kennedy Portland-produced Inner Thoughts spot, directed by Matthew Frost. While last month we saw how a brand addresses product preconceptions with humor, this month’s choice shows how a brand redirects its own preconceived notions with subtleties that are both relatable and motivating to the consumer.

Inner Dialogue

The content strategy employed here is inner dialogue, a risky bet that can often go cheesy and downright dumb in a matter of moments. Instead, we follow an all-female cast of characters on their athletic pursuits, initially plagued by self-doubt, with every thought, it’s safe to say, actually having been thought in the settings shown.

These relatable inner dialogues show us, without overt explanation, that these women are the every-day athletes—the ones who feel they haven’t earned the latter title some days. “No shame in running half a half marathon,” says one. “Why are there so many mirrors?” asks another. And perhaps the most laughably accurate, at least for any woman who’s been brave enough to venture into the weight-lifting section of their neighborhood gym, “Don’t mind me over here with my little baby weights, baby arms.”

But as the spot continues, the music picks up and the momentum takes off, with the dialogue making a natural progression with it: “You got this.” “Almost there.” Then finally: “I did it.” “Let’s go again.”

What makes this strategically clever is that Nike is a brand that often tailors its advertising to the elite—to the professional athlete or those who appear untouchable in their perfectionism and grace. Here, they’re giving voice to the every-day athlete, those who continually push themselves but still have that inner doubt. Taking it a step further, as part of Nike’s initiative to “support and motivate a woman’s athletic journey”, they’ve done a great job of writing copy that pushes this mission as we watch, and hear, this journey unfold.

The campaign now has prime real estate on Nike’s women’s page, with the longer campaign slogan spelled out: “If you’ve got the drive to get better, we’ve got the tools and gear to help you do it.”

As a whole, what we see here is a brand smartly unveiling a campaign with a clear mission and tying all touch points together with smart copy supported by personality. Oh, and a way to sell their product as part of this pursuit.

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