Nike: Timing and storytelling close to perfection (Social War #18)

Nike doubles it’s online engagement with a perfectly timed sample of storytelling. Prior to the ‘golf clash’ between Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Nike launches its latest feel good video: don’t dream, #justdoit. Nike captures the feeling of a student surpassing its master perfectly in this video. Even if you’re not a golf fanatic, this form of storytelling is a very interesting development. This week in our Social War Research, the power and results of perfect storytelling.


Nike as online champion
An online video of two minutes and eleven seconds scores over 4.500.000 Facebook views in only one week’s time. With 72.757 Facebook likes, 44.163 Facebook shares and 3.095 Facebook comments, the ‘Ripple’ video of the American Sports brand is a big online hit. A PTAT rise of +249.12% asks for a closer look. Especially when we realise that Nike with its social media channels is already the most successful fashion brand as showed in our earlier Social War research. How does Nike not only keep but surpass their success?



Storytelling with images
When we go back to 5 april 2015, Nike posts a video that confirms and strengthens its position. We see Nike’s figureheads on the golf track, Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods in their early years. A young Tiger and Rory, fresh out his diapers and so very eager to follow in the footsteps of his idol. It speaks to the imagination, the fan that eventually measures up to his idol.

The timing of Ripple is perfect, as the two meet again for the second time in their careers, not even a week after the publishment of the video. It all adds up to the message and momentum. Don’t dream #justdoit.


Storytelling is more than simply telling a story
Nike knows better than anyone that storytelling reaches further than simply telling a story. It starts with closely listening to your followers and finding the right metaphors for telling your story. But Nike doesn’t simply tell. They create a story, raise it and stimulate it to full growth. This way of storytelling grants their followers a peek into emotions, in feelings and most of all in developing lives.

When Tiger Woods is ready to pass on the torch to Rory McIIroy, Nike secures it’s own future immediately. They create continuity in marketing statements by using storytelling. Nike is truly the master in this specific form of marketing.

Homemade storytelling
In the Netherlands we’re familiar with this form of storytelling through the Calvé peanut butter commercials. They’ve shown us a young Robin van Persie and Pieter van de Hoogeband these past years. In the most recent Calvé commercial we see Robin van Persie fresh out his diapers, still too young to participate in the junior competition. To eventually dominate in stadium ‘De Kuip’.



In an earlier video we see a young Pieter van den Hoogeband who quickly realizes it is best for him to kiss his football shoes goodbye for good.



Van Persie and Van den Hoogenband follow in the footsteps of Evert van Benthem and Joop Zoetemelk for Calve.

Nike conquers, always
In the summer of 2014 we already proclaimed Nike as the Social War winner of that summer.

Social war

Story over success (in sports)
During the World Cup of 2014 we already concluded that Nike has the guts to choose the story and feeling over success in sports. Its Icons Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Christiano Ronaldo didn’t have a significant meaning sportswise during the Cup, where competitor adidas dominated the finals by sponsoring Germany as well as opponent Argentina. Even so Nike’s decisions paid off and in means of social media they won the World Cup gracefully.


The visual above shows that Nike clearly beats adidas based on fan growth and interaction.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 12.12.35

Like to keep up to date?
IIZT regularly posts findings from our Social War research. Stay posted and send your email address to or call us at +3120 693 31 31

Social War is an ongoing research by IIZT on over 70 worldwide fashion brands. It signals the do’s and don’ts for brands on Social Media. Everyone in the communication business talks and blogs about social media. We provide you with the facts, so we can learn from each other. Pass the hype, it is the new mainstream.

IIZT Amsterdam has been the market leader for 13 years regarding communities, branding and interactive communication.  We have worked with adidas, KLM, H&M, Mitsubishi, Miss Etam, T-Mobile, UGG, G-Star, Livera, Hart.volgers, Respectance, adidas, Defensie, Men at Work, Cliniclowns and many more.

IIZT was founded by Richard Derks who earlier set up KaZaA and made it the most downloaded software worldwide at that time.

Would you like to know more about your opportunities and how you can put your brand in a surprising new daylight? Or would you like to know how to generate even more attention from your target group? Call Richard Derks +3120 693 3131 or mail to

De hype voorbij, het is de nieuwe mainstream
IIZT publiceert regelmatig findings uit het Social War onderzoek. Blijf op de hoogte en stuur je e-mail naar or of bel ons op 020 – 693 31 31.

Social War
Social war is het ongoing onderzoek dat IIZT doet onder meer dan 70 modemerken wereldwijd. Het signaleert de do’s en de dont’s voor merken op social media. Iedereen in de communicatiewereld roept en blogt over social media. Wij staven alles met feiten, zodat je ook echt kan leren van elkaar. De hype voorbij, het is de nieuwe mainstream.

IIZT Amsterdam is al 13 jaar leider op het gebied van communities, branding en interactieve communicatie. Wij hebben werk gedaan voor adidas, KLM, H&M, Mitsubishi, Miss Etam, UGG, G-Star, Livera, hart.volgers, Respectance, adidas, Defensie, Men at Work, Cliniclowns en meer. Bel ons voor een kennismaking 020 – 693 31 31.


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