Why Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Gamble Wouldn’t Work for Under Armour


Another brand has us talking yet again about its role in societal debates. This time it’s Gillette and its ad focused on the Me Too movement. Consumers are definitely lining up on one side (supporting Gillette and its message) or the other (banning the product for portraying all men as villains). Gillette has yet to see how this plays out in terms of the effect on sales. It’s a tricky strategy as we saw with Nike.

Two weeks after Nike’s campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick debuted, the company’s online sales had risen a whopping 31 percent and its stock had climbed more than 6 percent to an all-time high. With Kaepernick, Nike clearly tapped into something powerful—but it didn’t come without risk.

Immediately after the ad debuted, it was widely reported that Nike’s brand favorability was down, its stock price dipped, videos of people burning their Nike shoes went viral and critics called for a wholesale boycott of the brand. So how did a gamble that violates the norms of branding and brand safety while creating a chorus of ardent critics ultimately lead to a wildly successful campaign?

In short, Nike found a way to connect with its customers on a visceral level. Its Kaepernick campaign went beyond shoes or clothing and instead tapped into the personal values that drive its customers in every aspect of their lives. That’s also why this gamble would have utterly failed for a brand like Under Armour, according to a recent Resonate analysis of customer personal values.

Learn more about how personal values play a significant role in consumer purchasing decisions in Resonate’s Holiday Season Lookback: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shopper Analysis.

Part of this article was originally published on Marketing Land on 11.05.18. See the full article here.

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