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Nike’s #DareToZlatan campaign will make you cringe

Nike is one of the most established and well-renowned Sports and Apparel company in the World. With years of experience and the formation of a favorable reputation, the American brand has become one of the most recognizable ones, along with it’s famous ‘swoosh’ logo.

Keeping up with the times, and the extensive marketing done by Adidas on the Internet and Social Media, Nike have launched campaigns targeting these two markets ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Their extensive marketing doesn’t have to stop at the normal route, they can delve into text messaging and check their message analytics to see if it is making an impact and bringing in the customers that they want. With new stakeholders in the field, such as Puma, who have launched their own campaigns with stars like Mario Balotelli & Marco Reus, Nike needed to stay above the competition and prevent falling off their perch. One way they can do this is by using the likes of Search Engine Optimization services that marketers like ClickSlice ( offer. That way when someone searches on the internet for a brand new pair of shoes they’ll most likely see the Nike ones first before any of their competitors. Content marketing is another, keeping Nike in the minds of potential customers when they browse social media.

The company has thus capitalised on one of their prime ambassadors, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, taking advantage of his reputation and character. This has led to launching of the #DareToZlatan campaign. Now while initially, Zlatan’s tweets were quite popular, they’ve been receiving negative feedback and response for the cringeworthy extensive marketing of the campaign. One should realise that it’s quite probably the marketing team, rather than Zlatan himself, handling the tweets and replies. Let’s just say the team have ‘over-Zlataned’ the entire agenda. It has gone from classy & cocky to all out cringing. Also note that Zlatan won’t be at the 2014 World Cup, using him as a primary ambassador so near the World Cup seems like a poor decision from a usually solid Nike team. Nike should reconsider running a content marketing campaign with a more relevant figure as the prime focus.

Nike recently launched two videos as part of the campaign, one of which involves Zlatan performing keepy-ups in Hell, and in the other he takes a free-kick against a tiger. Ooh, those shades at the end just take it to another cringing level. Here’s one of the videos:

Nike have usually come up with some fantastic advertisements, setting a benchmark for other brands to follow. But one can imagine Adidas & Puma’s marketing team sitting at home and laughing at how easy Nike have made it for them to take the lead in the competitive Sports Marketing industry, with the World Cup just over 2 months away.

Social Media marketing is another primary feature of the #DareToZlatan campaign, with the twitter account more active than before in it’s attempt to widen the reach of the campaign. Zlatan (or rather his marketing team) have begun responding to tweets which undoubtedly will make you cringe.

Well the fans aren’t making it any easier are they? But the campaign has always had the cringe tone to it, probably deliberately, which might have a better effect on some people, but a large section of the fan base is turning away from it. Perhaps if they were to use other services like Task Ant then they could have developed the right hashtags for platforms like Instagram in order to gain more support for their campaign.

We leave you with the latest #DareToZlatan piece that’s going viral. Must say though, this one was actually pretty good, but that video and those tweets. Urgh.

#DareToZlatan flow chart

Sort it out Nike, this seems like an all new low for you’ll.


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