Since its conception in 1988, “Just Do It” has become universally known as Nike’s tagline synonymous with taking action without hesitation in sports. For the Chinese audience, the company deemed it necessary to explain it a bit in a remarkable new Nike ad.
The tagline, often revealed for Western audiences after showing seemingly insurmountable scenarios for its given subject, is almost as recognizable as the brand itself and its popular Swoosh icon.
And while the phrase itself can be self explanatory, there’s no harm in putting in the extra effort to explain it for a foreign audience. Making sure the slogan is not lost in translation, Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai produced a new Nike ad campaign in China that defines exactly what “Just Do It” meant.
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“Growing up in China, I was surrounded by people who simply used the English words ‘Just Do It’ as a punch line without knowing what it really means,” said W+K Shanghai business director Dino Xu via Ad Week. “It’s great that in this campaign, the provocative voice-over lines help to define what it is, by saying what it isn’t.”
The impressive, high-energy 90-second spot, titled “The Next Wave,” features both amateur and professional Chinese athletes wearing Nike sneakers engaging in a variety of sporting activities.
A voice-over begins with the theme: “You don’t have to do it for the glory” which is carried throughout the video. With each scenario, comments are added accordingly, such as: “You don’t have to do it to be famous” and “You don’t have to do it for the boys.” A short message then sums the Nike ad all up in the end: “All we said was, ‘Just Do It.’”