Companies & Industries

Nike and 25 years of Just Do It: then and now

The perfect tagline lives on

It’s gone from just another advertising tagline to worldwide cultural phenomenon. Twenty-five years ago, Dan Wieden came up with it and from there… well, you know the rest. To mark a quarter century of Just Do It, Nike this week dropped a new ad featuring star athletes like LeBron James, Serena Williams, Gerard Pique and Andre Ward, all narrated by Bradley Cooper, that urges you to step up your game.

It’s a far cry from the humble beginnings of 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge.

But the sentiment remains the same. Just like Stack, the new ad idealizes the everyday athletes striving to become better just as much as the millionaire professionals. That’s part of the genius behind a line like “Just Do It.” It’s not just telling you to buy something directly; it’s a call to action open to interpretation for everyday people hoping to be bigger, faster, stronger. And it’s pretty damn catchy.