Nike Told Us to ‘Just Do It’


In 1988 Nike began telling us to “Just Do It.” The campaign’s tagline and “swoosh” became one of the top of the 20th century.

The “Just Do It” campaign allowed Nike to further increase its share of the North American domestic sport-shoe business from 18% to 43%, (from $877 million to $9.2 billion in worldwide sales) from 1988 to 1998.

The slogan was coined at an advertising agency meeting. The founder of Wieden+Kennedy agency, Dan Wieden credits the inspiration for the Nike slogan to Gary Gilmore’s last words. Gilmore gained international notoriety for demanding the execution of his death sentence for two murders he committed in Utah. He uttered the words “Let’s do it” just before a firing squad executed him in 1977.