Nike’s 30th anniversary Campaign


To commemorate Nike’s 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just do it” campaign, Nike has released a series of striking black-and-white ads featuring tennis champion Serena Williams, pro-skateboarder Lacey Baker, and NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. It’s most controversial placard was a close-up image of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick overlaid with the message: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Then, two days later, they released an ad expounding on that sentiment, with Kaepernick narrating a montage of athletes who had overcome daunting odds to achieve success.


From the outset, the reaction to Kaepernick’s involvement with the campaign was explosive. The hashtags #ImWithNike and #ImWithKap (or #ImWithKaep) began to surface, as people expressed that they were in support of the campaign. There was also a noticeable mix of veterans and conservatives who called for a boycott of Nike apparel or posted videos of burning shoes.


We had a look at the social conversation around this issue, are people for or against Nike’s statement or on the fence? Using Crimson Hexagon we were able to track conversation around Nike’s new campaign. We looked into popular keywords such as ‘Nike’, ‘Kaepernick’, ‘Just Do It’ to mention a few.



We found that the conversation volume has now totaled to over 612700 to date. We also noticed a spike in conversation on the 4th of September after the release of the ‘Just do it’ campaign.


Volume trend from 2018-08-10 to 2018-09-09


Conversation is mostly positive at 41%. The conversation includes messages of support of the brand’s new campaign. The negative sentiment is at 30%, with people complaining about Nike using Colin Kaepernick on their campaign.

Sentiment Analysis from 2018-08-10 to 2018-09-09

Looking at the emotional analysis, the predominant emotions in this conversation are Joy, Sadness, Anger and Disgust.


We further investigated the conversation by setting-up an opinion monitor to dig a little further on the types of posts that were surfacing. 


Below is an example of tweets that are positive and are in support of the Nike campaign. They have shared supportive posts under #Kaepernick and #ImWithKaep.


Below are examples of negative posts that are in support of the #NikeBoycott.



Some people are inspired by the campaign and have vowed to support the brand by purchasing their merchandise.


Intent to purchase


Purchase intent

Purchase intent


Whilst a few have said that they will no be purchasing any Nike gear, matter of fact, they will burn or throw away the items that they already own in protest of Nike’s latest campaign.





YOUKNOW is the Sub-Saharan African partner to Crimson Hexagon, Lithium Technologies, Stackla and Domo, global leaders in Social Media Insights, Engagement, Social CRM, User Generated Content and Business Intelligence.
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