Nike Owns You, You, You and You. And You Too.

Thumbing through Henry Abbott’s True Hoop today when I came across this:

Nike Viral Ad Carmelo Anthony Fans of Utah

The biggest mystery of these playoffs is “What did Quentin Richardson say to Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce?” A close second is what is up with this “Fans of Carmelo Anthony in Utah” ad?

With Henry as good as NBA blogging gets, naturally I clicked over to see the ad.



The video quality of the spot uploaded to Youtube was crummy enough to make you think that somehow, someway this wasn’t yet another corporate dupe.

But alas, hidden at the bottom of the The Fans of Carmelo Anthony in Utah :30 spot was a tiny disclaimer acknowledging Nike sponsorship.

Over 70,000 views of the video should’ve also been a tipoff - along with the cutting edge production value. But for all I know, the Youtube uploader wasn’t affiliated with Nike, which of course is precisely the point.

Nike was able to create a commercial so mysteriously compelling that it prompted some random guy to camcord it off his TV screen.

Typical response to the spot: “But that doesn’t make me want to buy Nike gear.”

Same reax to recent Tiger Woods Nike ad featuring his father.

What millions of drones apparently still don’t understand is that Nike is beyond cause and effect marketing. These two spots are in no way designed to immediately goose shoe or 9-iron sales.  The ads are crafted to ingrain Nike into your brain without you even knowing it.


The Tiger Woods & Dad ad? For well over a week every main media outlet on the planet was either reporting what the ad was or debating its content. Literally billions of people across the globe innocently ushering Nike into their cranial cavities just in time for their next discretionary income impulse.

And because the ad’s provocative nature qualified it as a news event, it will likely be memorialized in varying forms of sports literature and media.

And because the ad’s provocative nature qualified it as a news event, NIKE’S BRAND will likely be memorialized in varying forms of sports literature and media.

So which method ultimately sells more shoes, a Tiger ad that’s a hard sell or a Tiger ad that’s a no sell but becomes a talking point in popular culture?

If you don’t know the answer, stick with the Devry Institute.