Nike: Just Do As Serial Killer Says, Not As He Does

As a late convert to the awesomeness that is “Mad Men”, I’ve been going around annoying all everyone I know babbling about how sweet the show is. Everyone else went through their wannabe-Don Draper phase a couple years ago, but I’m just getting to it now. Deal with it, and someone get me a drink, stat. In any case, now that I’m a Mad Men viewer, I’m totally qualified to discuss advertising and branding with the best of ‘em.

Don Draper Nike Just Do It

For example, take “Just Do It.” Nike’s been telling us that for years, but what are they really saying? The uninitiated (read: people that haven’t watched as much Mad Men as I have) might think that it’s an exhortation to athletic excellence, or at least a request to buy more shoes. Those of us who are experts in advertising, however, know that it’s all about serial killers. That’s right - serial killers.

Apparently, I’m not the only person that’s taken an interest in the people and ideas behind ad campaigns, perhaps in hopes of landing January Jones, or at least Christina Hendricks. According to BRAND REPUBLIC:

Art & Copy is directed by Doug Pray, a documentary filmmaker who has previously turned his lens on the Seattle music scene and long-haul truck drivers. Its release coincides with a ‘Mad Men’-inspired wave of interest in the real people who work on Madison Avenue, the Fleet Street of the US ad industry.

The film reveals a little known fact about the ‘Just Do It’ slogan used by Nike, which is that it was derived from the phrase “let’s do it” — the last words uttered by Gary Gilmore, the murderer who notoriously asked to be executed by firing squad.

A far cry from Michael Jordan majestically soaring through the air or Tiger Woods staring down the competition at Augusta, perhaps, but you’ve gotta admit - at least the guy had a plan and saw it through. The documentary is slated for limited release in the US starting tomorrow; if you’re so inclined, check out the trailer below: