Nike Addresses Racism With "For Once, Don’t Do It"

By

Robert Goldrich
Saturday, May. 30, 2020

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Wieden+Kennedy created this :60 for Nike which urges the antithesis of its iconic “Just Do It” slogan. The 180-degree slogan turn has been embraced to address racism. Titled “For Once, Don’t Do It,” the spot encourages people to stop being silent, to stop making excuses and to instead be part of progressive change.

As protests spring up around the country in response to the brutal death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in police custody, Nike’s stark, sparse TV spot broke on Friday (5/30). It consists of just several lines of copy against a black background, followed by the Nike swoosh logo.

The opening line reads, “For once, Don’t Do It.” Subsequent lines of copy are:

  • Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America.
  • Don’t turn your back on racism.
  • Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us.
  • Don’t make any more excuses.
  • Don’t think this doesn’t affect you.
  • Don’t sit back and be silent.
  • Don’t think you can’t be part of the change.
  • Let’s all be part of the change.

While a “Don’t Do It” on the surface seems foreign to Nike, not so is taking a stand on race--a prime case in point being the lauded “Dream Crazy” spot, also from W+K, featuring Colin Kaepernick who was both praised and criticized for his kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games as a peaceful protest against police brutality and for racial equality. 

Credits

Client Nike Agency Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

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