Marketing Savvy

~ Tuesday, May 1 ~

An Inside Look at Nike

1. What makes Nike a “marketing machine?”

Nike is a marketing machine for many reasons. They are constantly coming up with new ideas for shoes and products. They are an extremely innovative company. They have great advertisements that appeal to a huge range of markets. They don’t limit themselves to a single target market. They  make products. along with comical, sentimental, and interesting promotions that appeal to a wide range of customers.

2. Why was Nike willing to take such a huge risk on Michael Jordan?

    Although when they signed MIchael Jordan, he had not yet even played in the NBA, they saw potential in him. They believed that with his growth in basketball it would help their company grow. They knew that taking risks results in profit.

3. How has the Air Jordan brand impacted Nike?

The Air Jordan brand was the first brand that really set the company into action. It helped created a customer base, and was the start of their sponsored lines. It was also the spark of clever advertisement and promotion. It continues to grow today with the Air Jordan 23 for the NBA All Star Game in New Orleans. In addition, the signing of Michael Jordan helped Nike overcome their fierce competitor Adidas.

4. What was it that made Michael Jordan choose to sign with Nike over Adidas?

    Michael Jordan had always worn Adidas and Converse shoes when playing basketball, making his favorite shoe an Adidas brand. He almost didn’t sign with Nike because he had never worn their brand in his life. However, he realized that Nike would let him have input and create his own line. The main reason however, was that Adidas was a European brand and wasn’t looking as much for an American athlete.

5. How has Underarmour affected Nike?

They sold athletic apparel and caused Nike to grow as a company and create clothing in addition to shoes in order to compete.

6. How many products does Nike make?

    More than 3,000

7. Where do the sales of more than half of Nike products come from?

The Nike Jordan Line

8. What made Nike’s advertising strategies so controversial?

    Instead of making textbook advertisements, they tried to make their commercials seem less like they were trying to get their customers to buy the product, and more like they were giving them “insider information”. Things really began to become controversial when Nike was sued for using the song Revelations by the Beatles without permission.

 9. What impact did Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” have on our society?

    The first time they used the slogan was in the commercial for the cross trainers. Nike realized that this slogan not only encouraged and inspired  athletes to push themselves in sports, but everyday people in  whatever activities or problems in their lives. The three words inspired and moved society. It made people believe in themselves.

10. What debate did the Charles Barkley ad campaign spark? Which side of the debate do you agree with and why?

Charles Barkley made a commercial in which he clearly stated that he wasn’t a role model, and that parents should be role models. This started a controversy because many children saw him and other NBA stars as role models. It made people ask themselves: What is a role model? What makes them so? Barkley explained that he didn’t want children to dream about becoming a basketball player when they should be becoming doctors, lawyers,engineers, teachers, etc. I agree that children should have aspirations that aren’t just about sports and that parents should be role models to their children. Still, kids need someone they can look up to that has achieved the unachievable even if them doing the same may be unrealistic.

11. Where did the inspiration for the Tiger Woods commercial come from?

    During down time, Tiger Woods was playing around with a golf ball by bouncing it off his club. The director saw him on his way to the bathroom and asked him to do it on camera. Fromt here the commercial was created.

12. Who has become the “modern day” Michael Jordan?

      P-Rod seems to be becoming the modern day Michael Jordan, as he is the face of Nike’s new line of skate shoes.

13. How is Nike changing the way it advertises in light of declining TV viewership?

They sponsor atletes that they know their customers will relate to. They also use the internet (twitter and Facebook) for advertisement. 

14. How did Nike handle their “sweatshop” public relations disaster? How would you have handled this negative press if you were a Nike PR executive?

They tried to downplay it by saying that they disagreed with how bad the conditions were. However, at the same time they pledged to make the factories better each and every year. They hired a staff of over a 100 people to monitor each plant, and publish their findings to the public. It was smart because they defended their company while still fixing the problem. I would act in a similar way although I would try to make it seem like we cared about the problem more than Nike did.

15. Describe the relationship Nike has with the factory workers in Vietnam.

10 out of the 35 factors went on a strike in 2008. That shows that many workers are not happy with the working conditions. However, there are also workers who say that the conditions are very comfortable and that they enjoy working with the Nike company and truly believe that the company cares about their wellbeing. 

16. What are the areas that Nike needs to improve upon in terms of improving their labor relations with the factory workers of Vietnam?

They should increase the wages as well as have CEOS and managers visit the factories and talk to employees. They need to show them that they care and aren’t just “improving” working conditions because they were caught being unethical.

17. Do you think Nike has a responsibility to pay their factory workers higher wages? 

   Definitely. With the ridiculous amount of profit that Nike makes, there is no reason that they should not be paying their workers higher wages. Not doing so not only creates a bad image for their company, but is ethically wrong in my opinion. AN important factor of a successful company is dependent workers, and depriving them of fair wages will not result in that, 

18. Now that you have seen this video, do you view Nike more positively, negatively, or is your view the same?

I view it slightly  more negatively after learning about how badly they treated their employees and how little it seems they care. It seems as if they’re only trying to improve them because they got caught in the act and need to save face. At the same time, Nike is an incredible marketing machine and this video proved that.

19. What part of the Nike video surprised you the most and why.

   I was surprised that the company started with a few guys selling shoes out of their trunk at track meets and also that when they signed Michael Jordan he hadn’t even had any playing time in the NBA. It was a much larger risk than I was aware of.

~ Thursday, February 9 ~

Celebrities Gone Wild

Celebrity endorsment is a great marketing idea when implemented correctly. However there are many scenarios in which it can go horribly wrong. When celebrities become involved in scandals (Tiger Woods, Ashton Kutcher divorce,etc?) it brings negative media attention not only to the celebrity, but the company they support as well,ultimately affecting the company’s image.

However, it is relatively easy for a company to compensate when a celebrity is involved in a scandal. To begin with, celebrities are easily replaced. Firing them is always an option. At the same time, I don’t believe that is always neccesary. Quite often, scandals fade when a new one arises. Sales may drop temporarily, but most likely they will go right back up within a few weeks. In addition to this, companies will still always have their regular buyers who are going to buy their products despite what any celebrity who endorses it does. If you have a good quality product and business, I beleive you would be able to voercome the drawback. Because of this, I beleive that there are much worse situation that can occur to negatively affect a business then a celebrity “going wild”.

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~ Tuesday, February 7 ~

Super Bowl Commercials- Almost More Disappointing than the Game Itself!

Not only did the football disappoint on Sunday, but the commercials fell flat as well. With companies spending up to 3.5 million for a 30 second slot, you’d think they’d put a lot more thought into their commercials, but apparently that’s not the case. In addition to not so funny commercials, the majority of companies missed out on marketing through social media. I only saw the Facebook logo about five times, and the Twitter logo no more than seven. Every single commercial should have featured a way to get in touch with the company via social media. However, rjust because the companies didn’t get too involved with social media this year, it doesn’t mean that the customers didn’t. Seconds after funny commercials were seen on T.V. loyal customers banned together and created their own hashtags on Twitter as well as statuses on Facebook.

In addition to missing a perfect opprtunity to implement social media via commercials, many companies also missed out on incorporating multiple ethnicites into their advertisements. The one company that I have to commend for distinctly including multiple, if not all races was Samsung. They did a great job appealing to a wide range of people!

With all the being said here are the bottom three commercials:

1) Budweiser Prohibition: Newsflash- No one wants a history lesson while they’re watching the Super Bowl. In addition to that, the market Budweiser was targeting was probably far too buzzed to comprehend the point of the commercial.

2) Tried to rely on sex appeal, but the company wasn’t succesful in doing so. If people watching had never heard of the website (like me) it was strange and confusing. They should have been more clear on what exactly the website provided rather than leaving it up to the viewer to guess.

3) John Stamos Yogurt Commercial: As much as I love John Stamos, this commercial completely fell flat. I understood where they were going with it- sex appeal combined with humor, but it just didn’t work.

Despite many misses when it came to advertisment during this year’s Super Bowl, there were a handful of successful commercials that I’m sure will continue to be talked about for weeks.

Top Three Commercials:

1) M&M: Humor is always a go to when constructing a Super Bowl commercial and M&M company implemented this tactic perfectly. It was humorous and cute, without being crude. In addition to that, M&M company was smart in using the song Sexy and I know it by LMFAO due to it’s extreme popularity and recognition.

2) Ferris Beuler : This commercial featured such a clever way to advertise a Honda CRV. It also had a very specific target market and they did a great job of attracting those projected customers.

3) Dog attemptiong to lose weight to chase Volkswagen: This one hit home with me and I’m sure many others. It was a smart move by Volkswagen because it appealed to a broad range of people. Who doesn’t love seeing a fat dog work out?

Target Markets:

Audi Vampire Car: Sorry Audi, but you’re a little late on the vampire craze. Don’t worry though, I’m sure 13 year olds apprecciated it.. Next time, I’d reccomend having a commercial that targets people who can actually drive.


Age:  16-mid 20s (Although I’d say it probably resonated more with 13-17 year olds)

Gender: Primarily female

Income:3,000-20,000 per year

Ethnicity: Caucasion

Education: High School/ College

Occupation: Part time job, newly hired out of college, intern

Marital Status: Single


Lifestyle: Out at night, always going, always at parties, people person, night owl

Opinions: Night is the best time of day, vampires are cool

Beliefs: Most likely slighlty wild/liberal, wants to have  a car with good features while still being afforable and stylish

Values: Spending time with friends, freedom, trends, quality cars, looking good

David Beckham H&M Underwear: What can I really say for this one? Tactic: 100% sex appeal. Goal: Convince women to buy the underwear for their boyfriends/husbands. I’d say it definitely worked.


Age:  16-50

Gender: Female

Income:3,000-200,000 per year (large range)

Ethnicity: Primarily caucasion

Education: High School/ College

Occupation: Part time job for teens as well as full time jobs in business, retail, food, beauty, etc.

Marital Status: In a relationship/married


Lifestyle: Likes sports, spends lots of time with signifigant other, probably has a pretty average life, but wishes it was more exciting and sexy

Opinions:Looking good is important, sex appeal is important

Beliefs: That getting the right clothes will make their boyfriend/husband look as good as David Beckham, faithfulness, sexiness

Values: Time with boyfriend, afforable but quality products

~ Friday, February 3 ~

24 Hours Without a Phone

Unlike most people, when Mrs. Scheffer challenged us to go 24 hours without a phone, I thought I’d be able to do it no problem. Previous to recieving my iPhone for Christmas, I had an old school flip phone that was a pain to text on and would die half way through the day. Because of the lack of quality, I was constantly leaving my phone at home or forgetting it at friends houses because it was more of an inconvenience than anything. I’d definitely gone 24 hours, and much longer than that without my old phone, so I was sure that I would easily be able to do it with my iPhone.

I was wrong. Texting is one thing to go without, but music, my schedule, contacts, email, and at hand internet was a completelydifferrent thing. Because of all the uses and features my phone now has it was impossible not to use it, and I caved on the way to school to play my ipod in the car.

I still believe that I could go without my phone for 24 hours, but it’s just the fact that I don’t want to at all. Cell phones are not neccesarily a neccesity, but they sure make life a lot better and easier.

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~ Wednesday, December 21 ~

College Dropouts- Will they save our economy?

New York Times author, Michael Ellsberg writes in the October 22, 2011 New York Times Sunday Review Opinion Page “If I were betting on the engines of future job creation, I wouldn’t put my money on college students cramming for tests and writing papers with properly formatted M.L.A.-style citations in order to bolster their resumes for careers in traditional professions and middle-management jobs in large corporate and government bureaucracies. I’d put my money on the kids who are dropping out of college to start new businesses. If we want to get out of the jobs mess we’re in, we should hope that more will follow in their footsteps.” 

I completely agree with Michael Ellsberg. Of course, school is necessary to learn basic math, writing skills, and critical thinking. However, be honest. How many times have you caught yourself saying or thinking, when am I ever going to use this when learning something in school? Quadratic equations, balancing formulas, the Spanish American War… If you’re not planning on pursuing a career in one of these fields why should you waste your time learning it? I believe that school should focus more on instilling qualities and lessons that we will use throughout our lives. Creativeness, innovative thinking, leadership, problem solving, interpersonal skills. These, instead of Geometry, Algebra, European History, and Chemistry should be the names of courses we take in school.

However, as we all know, that is not the case. As a result,  students who possess these skills (our country’s future entrepreneurs) often feel restricted in repetitive college classes. Instead of improving their entrepreneur skills, having discussions about life and goals, and ultimately forming new ideas and innovations, they’re stuck in their dorms cramming for their physics exam. This feeling of being held back and wasting time on useless classes causes many of these students to drop out.

Once these young men and women are out of college, they are free to do what they want, think what they want, and create what they want. They can travel throughout the world and experience life first hand.  These students, no longer restricted by classroom walls are able to take ideas and launch them into businesses. Without these free spirits, our world wouldn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Google, and so many other things that were created by college dropouts.

~ Friday, December 9 ~

catherinedecloux replied to your post: Celebrities Gone Wild

Scandals do happen a lot, but people do remember things, especially the big things. So even though a new scandal has occured, the company can still be affected.           

I agree. the company will definitely be affected. I just believe that in many situations dropping the celebrity may not be neccesary. It definitely depends on the seriousness of whatever the scandal/offense is.


What would the company do if the sales do drop due to this bad publicity, but then they continue to keep this bad trend of low profit&sales due to this celebrity? would you continue to keep this spokesperson, or at that point drop them for a new one?

I think if the situation became that bad it would be neccesary to drop the celebrity. However I would make as many efforts as I could to restore that celebrity’s image before doing so. 


mjmaggio said: I agree! Would you be the kind of company to give them a second change though?

It depends on how bad the situation is. If it’s something that I was confident would be easy to compensate for, I most likely would. However, if the celebrity was to do something that completely destroys the image my company was trying to portray (Say I run a vegan business and our celebrity is caught eating a Big Mac), I believe it would be neccesary to fire them in order to mantain our company’s integrity.

~ Saturday, November 12 ~

The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.
- Ingvar Kamprad


The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.

- Ingvar Kamprad

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