Nike+ #makeitcount

4 Mar

I got a bit of a shock this New Billboard Day when I came into the kitchen and saw Mo Farah’s piercing eyes staring at me from across the road. The ad in question shows the British athlete in full concentration whilst taking part in a race and is accompanied by his own adage “Don’t dream of winning. Train for it.” Beneath this the ad shows his Twitter username and the Nike hashtag #makeitcount.

Figuring that this was nothing more than a branding campaign to remind people of Nike’s values, at first I thought this would be easy. The official #makeitcount video gave little away, simply showing black and white close-ups of athletes spouting clichés such as “I can’t stand losing,” and an end frame asking “How will you #makeitcount?” Seeing as I’m not an athlete, I wasn’t really sure how to answer that and so headed to the gym thinking that maybe some pictures of me on a treadmill wearing Nike trainers would be enough to say that I had ‘made it count’ and I could move onto my next blog entry.

Beautiful as it may be, this video gives little away.

After 20 minutes on the treadmill (and 30 in the sauna/stream room/Jacuzzi), I went straight on to Twitter, ‘followed’ Mo and figured that my work was done. If anything else was required of me, surely his tweets would direct me to the next stage of the #makeitcount campaign. However, beyond the odd “#makeitcount” in his tweets about training (and lots of “Shabba!” at the end of every other update), there was little explanation of what #makeitcount was actually about. To make matters even more confusing, Mo is also promoting Lucozade this year a ridiculously similar concept of a brand helping you achieve your goals and his Twitter feed is interlaced with these updates amongst his usual musings and training stories (plus again, lots more “Shabba!”s).

I saw this in my local tube station. How Nike are ok with Mo also fronting a Lucozade campaign is beyond me.

Slightly stuck and wondering what else I could do, I was beginning to put off writing this post. It’s fine that Nike is promoting athletes and their commitment to the cause in preparation for London 2012, they’re an aspirational brand and people do want to wear the same high-tech apparel as the world’s best athletes. But with no item of clothing or event being advertised, I wondered what Nike really wanted me to buy or do. I’m a digital account manager who works in media – not an international sports star in training – so with this in mind I created my own take on the #makeitcount creative that seemed slightly more relevant for someone in my industry:

If Nike ever want to call on digital media professionals for their next campaign, I'm open to offers.

Resigned to writing a short article about how I was now going to the gym a little more, I went about my week as usual until I saw an old copy of Metro on the floor whilst on the tube to work. Lying open almost as if a message from Mo himself, a #makeitcount full page press ad stared at me from the busy carriage floor and finally explained how Nike’s campaign could be relevant to someone like me. #makeitcount isn’t just about Nike’s ambassadors and their training regimes, it’s about encouraging random people like me achieve a personal goal and be the best I can be for 2012, preferably aided by Nike paraphernalia.

With a new found enthusiasm, I started planning. In 2011 I achieved my goal of losing 28lbs from January – June in preparation for my sister’s wedding (hey, those photos last forever!) and with a firm date in place I had a set time period to work to. However, since that breezy summer’s day I’ve made no effort to keep it off and, weighing myself today, can actually confirm that I have now managed to put that exact amount back on over the last 9 months. Couple this with the fact that since 2008 I’ve done at least one sport-related charity fund raiser per year and I now had the perfect opportunity to get involved with another.

Click here to see me trying (and failing) to stop after crossing the line at the London Triathlon 2010.

Using Nike’s campaign as inspiration, I have booked my place in the British 10k London Run on Sunday 8th July and would love it if you could please sponsor me to complete the course in 55mins or less. I’ll be running for the British Tinnitus Association (a condition that affects me personally) and you can keep up with my training progress along with various other musings via Twitter – just like Mo Farah himself.

I hereby promise to train hard to “bring my best” to the race, burn off the excess weight I’ve put on and keep it off by making the next 12 months the year of me. This year, I’m going to #makeitcount.


2 Responses to “Nike+ #makeitcount”

  1. john July 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    The Lucozade campaign was released before.


  1. Skyn Condoms « New Billboard Day - September 10, 2012

    […] running the Nike London 10k, I’ve been well and truly bitten by the bug and average around 12km each week in addition to […]

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