Nike stepped beyond its normal "Just Do It" campaign during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. It proved "unlimited will" can take the average person and outstanding athlete far beyond their perceived capabilities.
And the decision to bring authenticity into its ads paid off big time.
During the Olympics and the weeks leading up to the games, Nike ads hit a nerve with viewers. The brand's online ads show high approval ratings in the number of online searches and comments, as well as shares and likes data.
Since March, Nike far exceeded any other brand in engagement rates, racking up more than 6.7 million shares, according to data released Friday from Origami Logic. Likes and favorites hit 6.5 million.
Conversations racked up 45,808 posts on Olympic-related advertisements. Adidas was the only other brand that came close with nearly 4.3 million likes or shares; 4.3 million likes or favorites. But it dragged a bit on comments with only 8,496. Under Armour totaled 13,708 conversations or comments, but lacked in likes, favorites and shares, according to Origami.
Comments in the review section of Nike's video advertisement describing how "life isn't about finding your limits. It's about realizing you have none" talk about how viewers never skipping the ad when it serves up. Some claim to watch it repeatedly.
"Nike commercials are the best commercials in the world," writes Eduardo Torres. Most comments pointed to authenticity as the reason for liking and willing to repeatedly watching or sharing the ad.
The video ad published this week with Kyle Maynard Collins seen climbing the side of a mountain also hit a nerve with viewers. Many of who called it their "new favorite Nike video." One local media reported Collins as a "pretty good high school wrestler" while attending Hill High School, especially for being born without arms and legs.
It didn't hurt that Nike took a chance in running an NBC prime time ad showing transgender Olympic athlete Chris Mosier undressed in a men's locker room. The athlete is reportedly the first transgender to participate in the Olympics on the men's national team. The ad titled "Unlimited Courage" emphasized that "your limited are only defined by you."
With help from these authentic ads, Nike racked up more likes and shares across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and social media sites, compared with any other brand, reaching nearly 1.9 million, between Aug. 10 and Aug. 16, 2016, according to Origami Logic. Adidas came in No. 2 with nearly 1.6 million during the same week.
Under Armour with 466,751; Omega, 199,969; and Samsung, 106,833 were the only other brands tracked by Origami to hit six digits. From there it was downhill with Chobani at 94,452; McDonalds, 55,905; Oakley, 44,135; Hershey, 42, 307; and Smucker's, 27,611.
Nike also took the No. 1 spot for the most shares and retweets across all platforms with 34,674 between Aug. 10 and Aug. 16, 2016. Coca-Cola took No. 2 with 16,694; United with 9,508; Milk Life with 4,455; and Hershey with 4,107. P&G was the only other brand tracked by Origami during the Olympics with more than 4,000 shares and retweets.
Once again, Nike took the No. 1 spot in Origami's data with 101,083 "likes" and "favorites" across social platforms. No other brand came close. Adidas followed with 85,583; Omega with 74,967; and Omega with 74,967.
Interestingly, Hitwise data shows that between Aug. 10 and Aug. 16, “Nike” was mentioned in one out of every 1,454 online searches, on average. By comparison, Adidas was mentioned in one out of every 3,744 online searches, on average, during the same time.
Men and women who searched for Olympic sport-related content that require wearing shoes—soccer, volleyball, and basketball—range from 40 to 60 years old during the week engine Aug. 13, 2016, according to Hitwise, a division of Connexity. The medium household income in this category ranges from $76,900 to $82,000 annually.