The other day, as I perused my social media feeds, one thing kept popping up over and over again: Nike's "Dream Crazier" ad, narrated by Serena Williams, which the brand unveiled during the Academy Awards on Sunday night.
The ad highlights women athletes from different sports all around the world. It calls out how these athletes were called "crazy" for trying to achieve feats people didn't think were suitable for women, such as running a marathon, dunking, or coaching an NBA team:
It's powerful, and it has resonated with millions of people in just a few days. The good news for any marketer: It reveals a perfect two-step playbook for producing a campaign that gets people incredibly excited.
The even better news is that these two lessons can work on any budget:
1. Go above the brand.
This ad isn't about the features and benefits of Nike shoes and apparel. It's about women's empowerment. It's about inspiring women to be bold, buck conventional wisdom and go after their wildest dreams.
Talking about your products and services has its place. But when you invest in producing marketing that is for the greater good of your customers, you open the door to have more intimate conversations about your products and services in the future.
Of course, Nike wants to sell more product. Here, it's proving that you can sell a lot more when you focus on delivering messages that inspire and elevate your customers to be better versions of themselves. Then, when your customers search for products and services to help them do that, you'll be top of mind for them.
As you work to produce marketing that helps your brand grow, look for opportunities to speak to a higher order need that transcends your products and services. Once you gain your customers' attention and trust, your product-focused messages will be in a better position to be well received.
2. Spark emotion.
I got choked up when I first saw the Nike ad. Then, I watched it a second time and still got all the feels. That's because the copy and the corresponding visuals spoke to the heart of challenges many women--myself included--have experienced during the course of their lives, including at work and in sports.
Nike didn't take the safe route. I took a look through the comments sections of YouTube and Instagram, and it's clear: There's no in-between for how people feel about this video. Most seem to have loved it. Some clearly hated it. Either way, everyone had a strong reaction.
As you produce your marketing to attract your ideal customers, say no to indifference. Your intention should be to get your customers to feel something, whether it's joy, anger, outrage, inspiration, nostalgia, hope, or a combination of these and others.
Be clear in your planning process about the emotion you want your customers to feel whenever they encounter your promotional campaigns or any aspect of your customer journey. Once you know what emotion you want to induce, you'll be able to seek out the insights that will most spark those feelings.
You don't need Nike's brand recognition or budget to produce marketing that wins the hearts and minds of your customers. Use these principles to create remarkable and effective marketing of your own.