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In her article “When Nike Stopped Selling Shoes and Began Selling Fitness,” Kim Bhasin describes the transformation of the company and how it lines itself up with fitness freaks everywhere today. Nike appeals to people’s emotional state with their advertisements that are targeted towards people who want to be in shape. Nearly every person in the United States has the desire to be in top physical condition, and Nike has targeted this desire and is essentially marketing towards the hope that people have to be in peak shape. This type of marketing appeals to nearly every person in the nation by setting Nike up as a representation of the ideal athlete. People desire to have a perfect body and to feel good, and when Nike says “Just Do It,” people have the desire to buy Nike products, (Bhasin, 2011).

But Nike hasn’t always lined itself up as a major athletic company. The brand started selling basic shoes to the public during its early days, and it has focused more now – through not only its product line but also through its advertisements – that it is a company lining itself up with pure athleticism. An advertisement that clearly points to this achievement is American tennis superstar Serena Williams during a celebratory fist pump with the Nike tagline “Just Do It” printed beside her fist. Serena is the face of Nike, determined, eager, strong, fit and confident, (Bhasin, 2011). This ad conveys to the viewer that if they want to be those things, then Nike can help bring them there. The ad also has writing on the side that goes through the various levels of rankings in the world tennis circuit. At the top are adjectives that describe someone who is clearly not the type of person to be associated with Nike. Then the ad moves to the top of the rankings, where Serena Williams is usually at, and that is No. 1 in the world. At this level there is only one thing on her mind, and that is the “need for opponents.” Williams is wearing Nike products in the ad and depicts the company as a winner, (Customize, 2012).

Nike has always been considered a brand that is active, but more recently it has taken on a whole new identity. By targeted people who are physically active, Nike has established itself as a go-to brand for anyone looking to stay in shape and to get in shape. But in order to fulfil its role as a top provider of fitness gear, the company has to pay major attention to the products it is putting out there. It isn’t just through the advertising that we saw with Serena Williams, it is also in state-of-the art equipment that helps people exercise better. Among these products are waterproof shoes. Nike is the first company to release shoes that are truly water resistant. Others have tried, but where they have failed, Nike has stepped to the plate and has created a product that is both light as a feather and that will keep a person’s feet and socks dry. This type of innovation has allowed Nike to establish itself as an all-weather company that can cater to people year-round. This also gets more people exercising, as the more comfortable they are with the equipment, the better chance of them exercising. This puts many more people outdoors, particularly in wet climates. They have matched this focus on allowing people to exercise in the rain with a focus on cold-weather running. The products that Nike now has  are able to keep people warm while they jog in cold weather. What is more is that both the wet-weather product and the cold-weather product have been combined to offer a person shoes and other equipment that will keep them dry and warm throughout the year. The traditional Nike products, that don’ have fancy technology, will do the job of accommodating their needs during the summer. And these products aren’t just for jogging, Nike will allow people to “Just Do It,” for virtually any form of physical activity, (Customize, 2012).

In designing this ad, Nike sends a clear and powerful message that, no matter what people will exercise; they will “Just Do It.” No matter what the weather or the obstacles that are faced, Nike will make sure that people are well-equipped to get their exercising into high gear. Matching itself up with the world’s No. 1-ranked tennis player ensures that people associate Nike with the best. And once a person can be the best, they have truly realized what Nike has set itself out to accomplish.

Works Cited

Bhasin, K. (2011). When Nike Stopped Selling Shoes and Began Selling Fitness. Business Insider.

Customize Our Best With NikeiD.” (2012). Nike. R

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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