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Monday, Oct. 29, 2007 at 6:42 pm

“Action” Missing from Online Ads? Be like Nike

By Robert Gorell
October 29th, 2007

Nike+ is powered by youFed up with the state of online advertising, Denny Hatch wants to know “What happened to the final ‘A’ in AIDA?” Referring to the classic sales formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action), Hatch pours through several recent examples of advertising campaigns that aren’t accountable to minor details like, say, revenue.

So how does one go from AIDA to ROI (return on investment) without action? And isn’t there another important element for the consumer? How about “satisfaction”? After all, that’s what keeps customers coming back — and telling their friends — isn’t it? Assuming Hatch is right about the action bit, it seems there are really two letters missing.

A.I.D.A.S. — not to be confused with Adidas — is what Nike (NIKE) hopes to achieve with its Nike+ campaign. And apparently, it’s working. Last week, The New York Times ran a piece about Nike’s novel approach to customer relevance. By teaming up with Apple (APPL) and it’s ever-popular iPod, the company engages runners directly, allowing consumers to meet running partners and track their own results online.

”It’s a very different way to connect with consumers,” says Trevor Edwards, Nike’s corporate vice president for global brand and category management. ”People are coming into it on average three times a week. So we’re not having to go to them.”

The success of Nike+ is bad news for the traditional media companies that have long made money from Nike’s television commercials and glossy magazine ads.

Last year, Nike spent just 33 percent of its $678 million United States advertising budget on ads with television networks and other traditional media companies. That’s down from 55 percent 10 years ago, according to the trade publication Advertising Age.

We’re not in the business of keeping the media companies alive,” Mr. Edwards says he tells many media executives. ”We’re in the business of connecting with consumers.”

Responding to the Times article, The Copywriting Underground‘s Tom Chandler has some great advice on how to borrow some of Nike’s mojo and apply it to your own web copy. Maybe you can’t use “Just do it!” for your own campaign, but if you’re looking for a multi-channel role model, it may not hurt to be like Nike.

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Comments (9)

  1. In the Netherlands, we have a very succesful similar case; Douwe Egberts (a coffee company) joined forces with Philips. Together they’ve developped Senseo, a very easy to use coffee pad machine. Examples and more info can be found through ;, and

  2. Engaging consumers right at the root of their passions and values — instead of at the product level — is certainly one way marketers are leveraging two-way online media (like social networks).

    Wedding a customer to a brand returns a lifetime of profits; asking for the sale only once returns one day’s profit. That’s why Nike’s investing in a social network like their Nike+ site instead of direct response (are social media the new direct response channel?).

    Thanks for the link!
    Tom Chandler

  3. Nike did well in this way.For consumers, we are more expecting connections with our loved brand, rather than the media company! Changing the traditional way will undoubedly make great improvement. It is true not only in business. For our life, this belief works as well, am I right? Frankly speaking, Nike is successful and worth praising! Best wishes for it!

  4. kudos to nike…you got to move with the times

  5. Nike did a very good job.I hope Nike will go better and better.

  6. Nike did do well,and the great ugg boots as well!

  7. We’re not in the business of keeping the media companies alive. We’re in the business of connecting with consumers.” What a brilliant statement. By all means, using advertising is a channel, but to connect with consumers is the key. It is absolutely crucial to understand how to engage with consumers; their desires and satisfaction. Nike, a great brand and an excellent action. Good luck!

  8. Nike kicked but during this time. It’s 3 years later but they are still doing great.

  9. The market is always evolving. Good on Nike for staying true to their own interests. They are not the sacrificial animal of the media companies. The media companies can learn to stand on their own two feet.

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