Skechers launches frontal attack on Nike's 'Just Do It'

By Aishwarya Ramesh , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising
Published : March 07, 2019 04:56 PM
The ad was two weeks late, and referenced the incident of a Nike shoe tearing during a basketball game.

Zion Williamson suffered a knee injury and Skechers saw it as an opportunity to take a dig at Nike. Williamson is a player with the basketball team Duke Blue Devils and during a game, his Nike shoes split. The incident happened on 20 February and Skechers was a fortnight late to the party. They put out an ad that was a play on Nike's iconic tagline 'Just Do It' accompanied by an image of a split sneaker.

Shortly after the incident, Nike issued a statement.

Hours after the incident, Puma put out a tweet that was deleted shortly after.

The tagline 'Just Do It' was coined for Nike in 1988 by advertising executive Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy agency. The tagline itself has morbid origins, with Wieden's supposed inspiration being Gary Gilmore. In 1976, Gilmore was the first person on Death Row in America for a decade. Gilmore's murders had no motive, and he insisted on his own execution. When he sat in the chair, his words were 'Let's Do It.' When Wiedman first pitched the tagline at a meeting, Nike's executives weren't too keen on the concept, but it went on to become a strong identifier for the brand for many years to come.

When Skechers ran the ad, it caught a few social media users off guard, with some lauding the brands efforts and the others suggesting that Skechers should slow down.

Zion Williamson himself wasn't entirely quiet about it. He hosted an Instagram live video in which he played video games, in full Adidas gear. The brand logos were unmissable.

ALSO READ: Colin Kaepernick, the face of Nike - why the brand just had to do it/b>

This isn't the first time NBA players have had problems with merchandise. In 2017, ESPN has reported that the jersey of Cavaliers player LeBron James tore down the middle after it was grabbed by another player.

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