Nike Kaepernick Ad Alienated Some but Hit Target

By Darren Rovell | ESPN |

The overall perception of the Nike brand fell significantly following the release of Colin Kaepernick’s “Just Do It” ad unveiled on Labor Day.

While virtually no one among the general public thought of Nike negatively in a Harris Poll taken in December 2017, 17 percent of respondents in a poll taken last week by the organization said they saw Nike in a negative light.

The percentage of people who said they couldn’t imagine living without Nike dropped nine percent, from 33 percent to 24 percent.

The results of the poll, taken of 2,026 Americans representative of the U.S. population, were exclusively shared with ESPN on Wednesday.

But not all was lost.

The poll revealed that while 21 percent of the general public said they would stop buying Nike, 19 percent said they would buy even more Nike products, and, of the young males in their target market, 29 percent said they would purchase more products.

“Nike took a strategic risk to alienate some customers in order to appeal to their core base of 18- to 29-year old males,” said John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll. “It was a calculated move to become a more polarizing brand, and it seems to have worked.”

The ad boosted how positively the 18- to 29-year-old age group thought of Nike by six percentage points from when the poll was taken nine months before. Gerzema said it helped Nike catch up, in the positive perception category, to Under Armour (57 percent) and Adidas (61 percent).

Read more at ESPN.