Inside this piece: The best commercial of the 90’s, Utah’s death row as inspiration for Nike, and the power of Twitter as it applies to brand loyalty.

Best Nike Commercial for Women

Though not a fan of the Nike brand, one of the commercials that has stuck with me for all of my life has been the “If You Let Me Play Sports” Nike commercial and print ad. It’s from the Wieden & Kennedy agency in 1995.

We don’t really watch a lot of commercials these days when we can help it, but this one is worth a re-watch.

And we’re not done there.

Best Nike Print Ads

If you let me play sports...


If you let me play sports…I will like myself more…I will have more self-confidence…I will be 50 percent less likely to get breast cancer…I will suffer less depression…I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me…I will be less likely to get pregnant before I want too…I will learn to be strong…If you let me play.

My butt is big and round like the letter C. And ten thousand lunges have made it rounder but not smaller. And that’s just fine. It’s a space heater for my side of the bed. It’s my ambassador. To those who walk behind me, it’s a border collie that herds skinny women away from the best deals at clothing sales. My butt is big and that’s just fine. And those who might scorn it are invited to kiss it.

My shoulders aren’t dainty or proportional to my hips. Some say they are like a man’s. I say, leave men out of it. They are mine. I made them in a swimming pool then I went to yoga and made my arms.

I have thunder thighs. And that is a compliment because they are strong and toned and muscular and though they are unwelcome in the petite section they are cheered on in marathons. Fifty years from now, I’ll bounce my grandchildren on my thunder thighs, and then I will go out for a run.

A Little Nike Trivia

Dan Wieden (founder of Widen+Kennedy) has cited the inspiration for his “Just Do It” Nike slogan to Gary Gilmore’s last words of “Just do it.”

Who was Gary Gilmore? Someone worth quoting? Uh. He was a murderer and executed by firing squad in 1977.

Footnote: Why do I not like Nike? It’s interesting because this is about the power of advertising and media. You cannot deny the power of one on one communication, social media, or Twitter. A Nike customer service rep via Twitter was rude to me.The situation I had about my Nike return would have simply annoyed me, but what has cemented me open disloyalty to Nike is based on that Twitter interaction. While I’m impressed by the Nike campaigns, once there’s a personal, negative interaction almost nothing can overcome that.