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The Impact of Advertisements on Consumer Behavior

Advertisements have become part of our life in informing the masses about products. They are found almost everywhere, on our phones when using applications, on televisions, billboards as we walk or drive, in our mails and on the jazzy of athletes. Such adverts are designed to lure the customers to consume the products (Eyada, 2020).

Nike has not been left behind in utilizing such avenues to ensure that information about their products is well spread. In the 2012 Olympics, Nike’s “Find your greatness” campaign was launched and mainly associated with athletes who participated in the Olympics. The aim of using a theme of athletes was to grab the attention of the customers and help them associate themselves with the athlete (Özoran, 2020). Although the advertisement featured athletes, the target audiences were the public. By associating the brand with success and greatness, it made the customers to envy being successful in their lives. Such an approach was adequate to tap into the customer behavior and create the need for the product (King, 2018).

Everyone wants to be successful in life, regardless of his or her field. As such, anything that portrays or promises success will be highly regarded by the public. The approach of using athletes using the product in their success, creates a picture in the customers mind that the brand is an already proven concept to success thus attracting a lot of customers (Kim, 2020)

It is estimated that about 76% of the consumers want companies to be aware of their needs and expectations when introducing a product. Simply put customers want companies to understand their behavior. As a result, marketers are required to understand a customer to be able to influence their behavior (Lin et al., 2020).  Consumer behavior is the art of studying how people spend their money. Economists explore the better part of studying consumer expenditure but marketers put it into practice to understand buyer persona (Madej, 2019). Therefore, marketers are able to understand why consumers make certain decisions and determine the best approach of marketing to them. While marketing they consider factors such as social, personal and psychological. From the factors, consumer behavior theories have been formulated to explain why consumers behave the way they do.

One of the consumer theories that have been applied by Nike’s “Find your greatness” is the psychoanalytic theory. The theory views that customer purchases are influenced by fears, aspirations, hopes, and feelings (Childs, and Jin, 2018). For instance, if one aspires to be an athlete they purchase that which is associated with athletes including the Nike shoe brand.

  Another theory is the Veblenian Social-Psychological Theory. The theory considers consumers to be living under social and cultural norms since they are social creatures. Therefore, they are prone to observing and adopting contemporary trends (Lee, and Johnson, 2020). For instance if a person considered famous or influential gets to adopt a certain trend, it is highly likely that the society will follow the same route. If the influencer is found of wearing Nike brands, most of their followers will strain to acquire the same brand so that they can be trendy.

Nike's Find Your Greatness Campaign and its Aim

Maslow’s Motivation-Need Theory also explains customer behavior with regard to Nike’s campaign. The theory was created in the 1950s, and was based in hierarchy that viewed the buying of things by consumer is based on the need they want to fulfill. These needs span from self-actualization, esteem, love, safety, and survival (Hoffman, Gold, and Curtin, 2019). For instance, customers who buy the Nike brand are mostly valuing esteem and self-actualization.

 The Nike Campaign took into consideration, the theories associated with customer behavior. The theory on psychoanalysis supports that customer purchases are influenced by fears, aspirations, hopes, and feelings. The theory therefore considers the relationship between marketing and purchasing decisions that are supported by preexisting consumer attitudes (Rasmussen et al., 2021). Therefore, since the campaign was aware that athletes are highly regarded for their hard work and persistence that they go through to achieve their goals. Moreover, making it as one of the athletes in the Olympics shows a lot of determination and focus to achieves such success (Kumar, 2021).

Therefore, the campaign tapped into the aspirations and feelings of the consumer by using athletes in their adverts since they knew that consumers act on behaviors that they perceive to create a specific outcome that is familiar. Such a decision-making that appears rational to the consumer is the main element that determines whether a consumer will purchase a particular brand (Sciarrino, and Roberts, 2018). The consumer behavior is therefore reliant on specificity over obtuseness, meaning a customer will only purchase the produced if there is enough evidence supporting that they are guaranteed to attain specific desired results. Although the campaign is associated with athletes, the public views the athlete’s achievements because of using the Nike brand. Therefore, the customer is provided with evidence that wearing or using the Nike brand is a sure way to achieve great results (Rasmussen, 2021). Such a theory also considers that between when a customer makes a decision and when they execute a purchasing action, there is a possibility of changing their mind midway. Therefore, the theory keeps the customer occupied with the campaign and navigates the customer through the sales pipeline by motivating them to purchase the product, before they get time to talk themselves out of the decision.

Nike has not been left behind in utilizing such avenues to ensure that information about their products is well spread. In the 2012 Olympics, Nike’s “Find your greatness” campaign was launched and mainly associated with athletes who participated in the Olympics (Merikanto, 2019). The aim of using a theme of athletes was to grab the attention of the customers and help them associate themselves with the athlete. Although the advertisement featured athletes, the target audiences were the public. By associating the brand with success and greatness, it made the customers to envy being successful in their lives. Such an approach was adequate to tap into the customer behavior and create the need for the product (Pelawi, 2018).

Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” Campaign has also considered that consumers are also influenced by what they constantly see or hear. Considering that, the Veblenian Social-Psychological Theory fronts consumers are social creatures hence influenced by social and cultural norms. Such a realization has helped the campaign to strategize input information that the consumer is willingly seeking to influence their decision (Scaria. and Jhavar, 2022). As such, they designed billboards, advertisements, and in-person displays that ensured the information was taken as closer as possible to the customer. The customer collection data and progresses to the next step which is information processing. At this step, the campaign ensured to provide enough details to the customer to make the processing of information easy (Vianello, 2019). Furthermore, the campaign ensured that the part of experience and expectations were already thought-out as the collaboration with athletes was a guaranteed way of demonstrating a durable brand. Moreover, the advertisement also acts as a motivation speech as it features various athletes who are determined to find their greatness but are not yet famous. Such a gesture further provides information to the consumer. Therefore, the consumer behavior theory plays a huge role during the input stage when the customer is seeking information about a brand or product (Nakamura, 2018).

Consumer Behavior and the Need for Understanding Customers

The campaign was also prudent to consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As such, it was aware that customers act in a manner that satisfies their needs such as increasing their importance, survival, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. As such, Nike “Find Your Greatness” campaign appealed to the customers in a manner that was related to their needs by prioritizing on purchases that instill significance and urgency to the customer. The Nike brand understood the motivation-need consumer behavior theory, as they were able to construct a campaign around an artificial need that they can control within the consumer. For instance, showing the customer that the brand is best suited for endurance to an extent that athletes rely on it makes it appear valuable and worth the purchasing, as it will provide esteem service and self-actualization. As such, it convinces the customer that spending on the brand is rational as it also provides various values.

The consumer behavior is therefore reliant on specificity over obtuseness, meaning a customer will only purchase the produced if there is enough evidence supporting that they are guaranteed to attain specific desired results. Although the campaign is associated with athletes, the public views the athlete’s achievements because of using the Nike brand. Therefore, the customer is provided with evidence that wearing or using the Nike brand is a sure way to achieve great results. Such a theory also considers that between when a customer makes a decision and when they execute a purchasing action, there is a possibility of changing their mind midway. Therefore, the theory keeps the customer occupied with the campaign and navigates the customer through the sales pipeline by motivating them to purchase the product, before they get time to talk themselves out of the decision (Abeza et al., 2020).

During the 2012 Olympics, Nike lost an opportunity of being the official sportswear sponsor to their competitor Adidas. As such, Nike was deprived of a chance to expose their brand to the world. However, in response to the lost chance, the marketing team designed a marketing campaign that was known as Nike's "Find Your Greatness" campaign. The campaign was very specific on its target market and was as competitive in terms of airplay as the exposure that Adidas got for being the official sportswear sponsor in the Olympics. The campaign focused on majority of Nikes consumers who do not compete in the Olympics. These consumers included the swimmers, cyclists, morning joggers, and high school basketball players. The campaign was very   inspirational as it encouraged on pushing the limits and find greatness. The video was uploaded on social media to share with the consumers and to their surprise; it reached more than four million views. The campaign was also featured in the mainstream media as many times as Adidas. Such a campaign became so successful since the customers could relate which led to the huge number of views an exposure that was a much as Adidas but at a lower cost (Lindsey-Warren, and Ringler, 2021).

The campaign showed that one does not have to be in a specific place or be born with greatness to be great. Anyone can find their greatness whenever they want so long as they were willing. So long, us they are willing to find greatness and striving towards it, they are in the right direction regardless of whether the direction is upside down. The campaign also seemed to have been inspiring the company as it had lost an opportunity to sponsor sportswear in the Olympics. As such, they found their own greatness by launching a campaign that was equally competitive to the exposure of Adidas at the Olympics. Given that they achieved their greatness in way that was nonconventional, the company considers that greatness can be achieved at any cost regardless of the means so long as greatness is the result. “Greatness does not belong to anyone, if it does not knock at your door go knock at its door.” (Kumar, 2021).

Consumer Behavior Theories and Their Relevance to Nike's Campaign

The campaign gained popularity, helped to drive sales, and opened up more opportunities for the brand. The company evolved into an all-inclusive company that has now grown to a multimedia giant. The campaign was therefore very effective as it not only boosted sales but also showed the company that there were opportunities to exploit (Pelawi, 2018)..

Therefore, the campaign tapped into the aspirations and feelings of the consumer by using athletes in their adverts since they knew that consumers act on behaviors that they perceive to create a specific outcome that is familiar. Such a decision-making that appears rational to the consumer is the main element that determines whether a consumer will purchase a particular brand. The consumer behavior is therefore reliant on specificity over obtuseness, meaning a customer will only purchase the produced if there is enough evidence supporting that they are guaranteed to attain specific desired results. Although the campaign is associated with athletes, the public views the athlete’s achievements because of using the Nike brand. Therefore, the customer is provided with evidence that wearing or using the Nike brand is a sure way to achieve great results. Such a theory also considers that between when a customer makes a decision and when they execute a purchasing action, there is a possibility of changing their mind midway. Therefore, the theory keeps the customer occupied with the campaign and navigates the customer through the sales pipeline by motivating them to purchase the product, before they get time to talk themselves out of the decision (Scaria. and Jhavar, 2022).

The Nike “Find Your Greatness” campaign was quite successful, however it would not be enough just to stop there and brag about past victory. The company should view the step as a beginning towards great campaigns. Therefore, they should at least launch new campaigns every year with a different slogan that is relatable to the masses and champions for the sale of their brands. Such an initiative will be more effective as it will be active even when the Olympic Games are not being hosted. As such, they will be assured of victory since their competitor will be focused towards winning the Olympics sports sponsorship. Moreover, the initiative does not cost much and is manageable.

The consumer behavior is therefore reliant on specificity over obtuseness, meaning a customer will only purchase the produced if there is enough evidence supporting that they are guaranteed to attain specific desired results. Although the campaign is associated with athletes, the public views the athlete’s achievements because of using the Nike brand. Therefore, the customer is provided with evidence that wearing or using the Nike brand is a sure way to achieve great results. Such a theory also considers that between when a customer makes a decision and when they execute a purchasing action, there is a possibility of changing their mind midway. Therefore, the theory keeps the customer occupied with the campaign and navigates the customer through the sales pipeline by motivating them to purchase the product, before they get time to talk themselves out of the decision.

Psychoanalytic Theory and Nike's Campaign

In future campaigns it is best to slot in a campaign with more familiar faces to the public as people like to associate themselves more with celebrities. As such, the campaign will reach more people and prove that the 2012 campaign on “Find Your Greatness” was not just by luck but proper planning and strategy. Such campaign might even score them a chance to sponsor sportswear in the Olympic in the coming years since it is a matter of numbers. The more the company is able to prove its value to the Olympics committee the more likely they will be given an opportunity to sponsor the games.

In addition, as technology and innovation advances, the brand should also ensure that campaigns are in line with the advancement. For instance, in the present day, the young generation is more reliant on the internet as their source of information compared to the mainstream media. As such for any company hoping to move their products or launch their campaign, it would be advisable to use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok as they are the most used application at the moment. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube are not as efficient but are useful for providing detailed content regarding a product or the campaigns. Nike should therefore keep their list of platforms updated since there was also a time when Facebook and YouTube were the best applications for marketing but newer and more convenient platforms disrupted the market (Madej, 2019).

Finally, as the “Find Your Greatness” campaign suggests, there is more to be explored. At first, the company had no idea that the campaign would be a success, but through trial they found their greatness. As such, they should not only rely of YouTube campaigns, they should also try other ways of campaigning and through trial and error determine the best ways to conduct a campaign. Moving into the future, the company will be very deliberate and strategic in their marketing, as they will have shortlisted the best ways to market and their effectiveness

References

Abeza, G., Braunstein-Minkove, J.R., Séguin, B., O’Reilly, N., Kim, A. and Abdourazakou, Y., 2020. Ambush marketing via social media: the case of the three most recent Olympic games. International Journal of Sport Communication, 14(2), pp.255-279.

Childs, M. and Jin, B., 2018. Nike: An innovation journey. In Product innovation in the global fashion industry (pp. 79-111). Palgrave Pivot, New York.

Eyada, B., 2020. Brand activism, the relation and impact on consumer perception: a case study on nike advertising. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 12(4), pp.30-42.

Hoffman, A.N., Gold, N. and Curtin, C., 2019. Nike, Inc.: Late Arrival to the “Athleisure-wear” Trend. Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

Kim, M., 2020. How Phil Knight made Nike a leader in the sport industry: Examining the success factors. Sport in Society, 23(9), pp.1512-1523.

King, V., 2018. Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness. Hay House, Inc.

Kumar, P., 2021. Consumer Behavior-An Iconic Game Changer in Sales and Marketing. Vidwat, 14(1), pp.19-21.

Lee, K. and Johnson, J.A., 2020. Ambush Marketing in Sport Taekwondo and How to Prevent It. Ido Movement for Culture. Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology, 20(4), pp.7-14.

Lindsey-Warren, T.M. and Ringler, C., 2021. Empowered storytelling: An examination of empowerment in storytelling and its impact on millennials. Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy, 5(2), pp.103-128.

Lin, Y.H., Chen, C.Y., Chou, Y.L. and Yeh, C.J., 2020. Effect of ambush marketing on attitude and purchase intention in the social media context: misidentification and identification. European Sport Management Quarterly, pp.1-20.

Madej, A., 2019. The Role of Marketing Communication In Recognition of The Global Brand: A Case Study of Nike (Doctoral dissertation, Empire State College).

Merikanto, S., 2019. Controversal Marketing-A successful strategy to grow a brand or risky approach? Case study: Nike Inc.

Nakamura, B.M., 2018. Is Olympic ambush marketing here to stay: Examining the issues surrounding ambush marketing as they relate to Olympic sponsors, athletes, and other stakeholders. Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. L., 35, p.499.

Özoran, B.A., 2020. Manifesto Storytelling: A New Method Of Organizations. Akademik ?ncelemeler Dergisi, 15(1), pp.277-308.

Pelawi, R., 2018. 'What are girls made of?'A Critical Discourse Analysis. In UICELL Conference Proceeding (No. 2, pp. 221-233).

Rasmussen, K., 2021. Brand Activism and Gender: Nike as a Case Study (Doctoral dissertation, Brigham Young University).

Rasmussen, K., Dufur, M.J., Cope, M.R. and Pierce, H., 2021. Gender Marginalization in Sports Participation through Advertising: The Case of Nike. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(15), p.7759.

Scaria, A.G. and Jhavar, V., 2022. Ambush Marketing and Protection of Investments. The Cambridge Handbook of Investment-Driven IP (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

Sciarrino, J. and Roberts, P., 2018. Rethinking hero archetypal branding: Investigating the effects of authenticity and flawed archetypes on brand attachment and self-congruence. Journal of Brand Strategy, 7(3), pp.283-295.

Vianello, S., 2019. Nike’s pricing and marketing strategies for penetrating the running sector.

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