When Nike launched its latest ‘Just Do It’ campaign last week, centring on NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, some disgruntled Americans published videos of themselves setting fire to the company’s products.
Kaepernick’s protest against racial inequality and police brutality — taking a knee during the national anthem at NFL matches — has been divisive, and President Donald Trump has been one of the fiercest critics.
But early figures from research company Edison Trends suggests Nike’s bold ad campaign could prove a financial success (and not just because those people had already paid for their scorched trainers).
The campaign was launched over the Labour Day weekend in the US. This year, as with last, online sales of Nike products dropped on the Sunday of the holiday and rebounded on Monday and Tuesday. However, this year sales grew 31 per cent from Sunday through to Tuesday, compared with 17 per cent in 2017.
The numbers do not, of course, prove the Kaepernick ad campaign is driving purchases. But either way, sales are up.