Running head: NIKE FREE RUNNING

1

Nike Free Running Advertising Campaign
Derek R. Platte
Grand Valley State University

NIKE FREE RUNNING

2
Nike Free Running Advertising Campaign

This advertising campaign is for Nike Free Running and this paper will describe the
brand, evaluate strategies, describe the target audience, etc. The brand, Nike, was founded by
Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight and was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports (History &
Heritage, 2014). There are 3 different types of Nike Free running shoes: the original, Flyknit, and
NikeiD. Each of these has three different styles differentiated by numbers; the 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0.
The higher the number, the more support they offer (Men’s Nike Free, 2014).
I am conducting this campaign for my fundamentals of advertising class at Grand Valley
State University. My personal motivation for doing this advertising campaign comes from
soccer. Our team had to run 2 miles every Wednesday during weekly practice and Nike Free was
my shoe of choice for these runs. I picked these shoes because they felt comfortable on my feet
and gave me confidence in my stride.
The timing of this campaign would be from December 1st to February 1st because there
are New Year’s resolutions and the shoes are a great gift idea. My specific stamp on Nike Free
would be to put a small reflector on the sides of the soles. This would help people be more
confident of exercising in the early morning and late night. The DMA I selected for my
campaign is Los Angeles, California (SRDS Media Solutions, n.d.). After repeatedly searching
with different but related categories, Los Angeles was constantly in the top ten. I also chose this
area because people in a warm environment are generally more concerned with their appearance
and like to wear the name brands.
Target Audience
My target audience for this campaign would be athletes and fitness enthusiasts of both
genders aging from 15-40. This group of people is typically healthy and conscious of their body

NIKE FREE RUNNING

3

figure. The percent of people 15 years of age and older that participate in sports on average day
in California is 20%, the largest percent in the whole country (Sports and Exercise, 2008). Also
the athletes in this age range will not settle for just any shoe. They will pay more money for
better quality on their feet. This creates more confidence within the athlete to perform better in
their training. Although, athletes aren’t the only people I want to target because these shoes can
be beneficial to the busy person that gets a walk in after work or school. Of people 15 years old
and older that exercise regularly, the most popular form of exercise is walking; 30% walk for
exercise with over 15 categories to choose from (Sports and Exercise, 2008).
Positioning
Nike Free running shoes were designed with the idea to provide a more natural feel than
the competitors. This means that if people chose Nike Free over the competitors their feet will be
healthier. Also Nike Free running shoes offer more quality than others. “The goal is a unique fit
for each wearer, a lighter sneaker and less material waste from production.” (Wade, J., 2013).
Advertising Objective
The purpose or objective of this advertising campaign is to encourage brand switching
from the competitors. The overall goal of the campaign is to help increase sales. This in turn
leads to the benchmark of the brand. Since the brand is already well known worldwide, the
benchmark would be to increase the sales of the product even more than it already has. The way
this is going to be successful is to convert the competitor’s consumers over to the brand because
of the added health benefits the shoe has.
The ultimate goal of this campaign is to dominate the running shoe market even more
than the brand does already. Since the brand is well established the goal will be easier to achieve
since the awareness is high.

NIKE FREE RUNNING

4

The measurement method would be monitoring sales of the competitors and Nike’s sales
four to five months later. Since the campaign ends in February the measurement timing would be
in June and July. Monitoring sales would be the best method to see the effectiveness because the
sales speak for themselves with no biased opinions.
Copy Platform
My brand has plenty of features but there are 3 that are the most important: lightweight,
more natural stride, and breathable. These features can be translated into benefits that set my
brand apart from the rest. These benefits are: these shoes make you faster, your feet become
healthier, and your feet won’t smell like your friend’s that is wearing the competing brand.
The advantages to using my brand over the competitors is that they feel more natural and
they promote better health to the whole body and the feet; the disadvantage is that my brand is
typically more expensive.
My target audience is both genders between the ages of 15 and 40. They are athletes and
ordinary fitness enthusiasts looking to become healthier. These people particularly are more
concentrated in warmer climate settings.
The tone and environment of my advertisement for the brand will be a trail in the woods
in the early morning. This will speak dedication and motivation that is needed to become
physically fit.
The one thing about my brand that is the most important is that the shoe makes your
stride as natural as can be without being barefoot. This makes your feet more resilient. I will
express this with a “big idea”. My idea is to show a television advertisement where two people
are running a trail, one with Nike Free, my brand, and the other with the competitor. They finish
their run and walk back to the vehicle barefoot. The person wearing the Nike Free walks

NIKE FREE RUNNING

5

normally because their feet are healthy and resilient whereas the other person walks gingerly and
gets a few blisters.
Creative Discussion
The advertisements in this campaign follow the copy platform’s most important benefit
which is, again, making feet healthier and more resilient. The magazine ad speaks to the people
that want to exercise and stay fit but also care about the health of their feet. It also explains how
the shoe does this. It explains the flexibility of the shoes. The outdoor ad stays in the same
objective to explain the health benefits of the shoe and that healthy feet are happy feet.
Following these two ads is the radio script which is the big idea in the copy platform.
The visual focus of my ads is the same. With both ads the eyes immediately go to the
main illustration. The magazine ad’s main illustration is a photo progression of a bare foot in
stride to eventually having a shoe on to show the natural stride of the shoe. The focus then goes
to the headline which explains the illustration. The outdoor ad is the same. The visual focus is all
on the illustration of the feet with happy faces painted on the toes. The headline explains the
illustration to saying that if your feet are healthy then they are happy. Also there is a Nike
swoosh for brand recognition.
Coloring of the ads is kept consistent with black background with yellow text for
maximum contrast and readability. Naturally a person’s attention gets attracted to a black surface
with the bright yellow text. This will help the ads be noticed especially with the limited time that
the audience has to view the outdoor ad.
As everybody knows headlines for ads are very important because they make or break the
ad in the view of the consumer. With the magazine ad the headline is on the top of the ad and
explains the illustrations without needing a body copy. It is also fairly short to keep the eyes

NIKE FREE RUNNING

6

moving down the page. The outdoor ad’s headline is very important because the consumer only
has a few seconds to view the ad. It is kept under the guideline of seven words or less and upper
case first letter of each word and the rest lower case for easy readability.
The body copy of an ad is a very important part because if the consumer spends this
much time with the ad that means they are interested in the product. In the body copy the
advertiser must be credible and persuasive with the language. In the magazine ad the body copy
explains illustrations further and gives details about the Nike shoes and how the main benefit is
achieved.
Finally, the radio script format is important for the ad to be played over the air correctly.
The script is set up in two columns with the names of the voices and sound effects labels on the
left. In the right column there is the dialogue in regular text (upper and lower case) and the
specifics of the sound effects in all capital letters.
Media Plan
After making the advertisements, one needs to release the ads to put them in front of the
consumers. I chose to do this by using the media vehicles of outdoor, radio, magazine,
newspaper and television. Each of my ads are going to be aimed at my DMA of San Francisco.
To advertise the brand I chose to start with outdoor. Now, the DMA of San Francisco,
California doesn’t have any billboards so I chose to represent the pricing by picking a similar
size city with around the same number of people. My outdoor pricing is for Dallas, Texas and
it’s broken up into 4 areas which are: Athens, Corsicana, Dallas, and Mineral Wells. The total for
all four areas is $59,727 for four weeks. Since the campaign is eight weeks, the grand total for
my outdoor advertising is $119,454. I would run the outdoor ads continuously through December
1st to February 1st.

NIKE FREE RUNNING

7

My next advertising vehicle is radio. There is no shortage of radio stations in San
Francisco. So this will be a good vehicle to use. To go with my target audience I chose country,
rock, and hits stations. I chose to do two ads per week for 8 weeks to keep the message
consistent. (See Table 1)
Magazine advertising is arguably the best for my brand because of the limitless creative
opportunity and the quality of print. I used this advertising vehicle wisely; picking what
magazines my target audience would be interested in. I put my ad in every magazine and
depending on the circulation frequency of the magazines each receiver will see my ad twice
which is meant to keep up continuity. (See Table 2)
Moving onto newspaper, it is still one of the main media vehicles and it reaches a fairly
general audience. Since it is so general I chose to keep a frequency of one ad per week. This will
keep the product in front of the consumer’s eye and the repetition is good for memory. (See
Table 3)
Finally, I chose to advertise my brand on TV as well. I chose to advertise on TV because
it is the advertising vehicle that is most effective these days. Most of my shows are weekly. I
chose this type of show because of the amount of viewers and the consistency of ads. (See Table
4)
IMC Plan
Integrated marketing communications is a very important part of any campaign. Other
than advertising there are many sections to choose from under the promotion section of the
marketing strategy. Since my campaign is to advertise the Nike Free brand I chose to do an event
sponsored by Nike Free. The event is a 5K run with the proceeds going to the American Health
Association. This event ties in with my advertising message that the shoes make your feet

NIKE FREE RUNNING

8

healthier and give the brand a good opportunity to use some corporate advertising. This event
would take place in early November to have the consumers exposed to the message; that way
when the audience sees or hears the advertisements it is relevant information and fresh in their
minds.
Budget Comparison
Nike’s budget for advertising was $678 million in 2006 (Story, Louise, 2007). The grand
total for all five of my media vehicles is $3,498,161. Looking at the two numbers together seems
like dwarfing my budget but just remember that Nike advertises all of their products whereas my
budget is just for a specific shoe. Also, I am only advertising to one DMA whereas Nike
advertises to many countries. However, Nike has enough sales that they could easily choose to
take on my advertising campaign because they have the funds to cover it.

NIKE FREE RUNNING

9

References
History & Heritage. (2014). In Nike, Inc.. Retrieved September 28, 2014, from http://nikeinc.
com/pages/history-heritage
Men’s Nike Free. (2014). In Nike.com. Retrieved September 28, 2014, from http://store.nike.
com/us/en_us/pw/mens-running-free-shoes/7puZbrkZ9zmZ8yz
Sports and Exercise. (2008, May). In United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor
Statistics. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/sports/
SRDS Media Solutions. (n.d.). Consumer Magazine Media. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from
SRDS Media Solutions database. http://next.srds.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/nmp/search/
class/1520-media?wp=y
SRDS Media Solutions. (n.d.). Local market audience: Market potential report: Sports and
leisure. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from SRDS Media Solutions database.
http://www.claritas.com/SRDS/home?user_id=1412110988100373529&auth_token=HAt
S%2FXi8cpcH9DARW%2Flze%2FuIIHc%3D#
SRDS Media Solutions. (n.d.). Newspaper Media. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from SRDS
Media Solutions database. http://next.srds.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/nmp/search/class/1521media?wp=y
SRDS Media Solutions. (n.d.). Radio Media. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from SRDS Media
Solutions database. http://next.srds.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/nmp/search/class/1519media?wp=y

NIKE FREE RUNNING

10

SRDS Media Solutions. (n.d.). TV & cable Media. Retrieved November 28, 2014, from SRDS
Media Solutions database. http://next.srds.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/nmp/search/class/1522media?wp=y
Story, Louise. (2007, October 17). The New Advertising Outlet: Your Life. The New York Times.
Retrieved November 28, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/business/
media/14ad.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Wade, J. (2013, April). Running mates. Risk Management, 60(3), 20+. Retrieved September 28,
2014, from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA325174874&v=2.1&u=lom_
gvalleysu&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&asid=236676e6b5cfc5fe6003e6228398a711

NIKE FREE RUNNING

11

Table 1
Radio Campaign Pricing- San Francisco

Metro Market

DP

CPP

San Fransisco

AM
Day
PM

840
709
803

Rating CPA

2
2
2

1,680
1,418
1,606

#APD

#Days

0
0
2

0
0
8

#Stations GRP Total

Grand Total

0
0
12

0
0
32

0
0
308,352
308,352

Note. “Total” in dollars. DP = day part. CPP = cost per point.CPA = cost per ad. #APD =
number of ads per day. GRP = gross rating point. Source: SRDS Media Solutions, Radio Media,
(n.d.).

NIKE FREE RUNNING

12

Table 2
Magazine Campaign Pricing- San Francisco

Magazine

ad size

CPA

# of ads

Athlon Sports

full

377,565

2

755,130

Runner’s World

full

148,590

2

297,180

Muscle and Fitness

full

52,950

1

52,950

Fitness

full

175,200

1

175,200

Triathlete

full

7,860

2

15,720

Running Network

full

65,000

2

130,000

Velo

full

5,500

2

11,000

Women’s Running

full

10,560

1

10,560

Red Bulletin

full

45,200

2

90,400

WebMD

full

114,100

1

114,100

Grand Total

Total

1,652,240

Note. “Total” in dollars. CPA = cost per ad. Source: SRDS Media Solutions, Consumer
Magazine Media, (n.d.).

NIKE FREE RUNNING

13

Table 3
Newspaper Campaign Pricing- San Francisco

Newspaper

ad size

CPI

CPA

San Francisco
Examiner

1/4

63

1,890

Bay Area Parent

1/4

2.80

Silicon Valley

1/4

California Home
And Design

Reach

# of ads

GRP

Total

316,396

8

253

15,122

846

86,692

8

70

6,768

25.87

776

91,108

8

73

6,208

1/4

113.33

3,400

199,178

8

159

27,200

Peninsula

1/4

30.87

926

70,702

8

57

7,408

Good Times

1/4

22.33

670

69,562

8

56

5,360

Diablo

1/4

70.20 2,106

79,786

8

64

16,848

Petaluma

1/4

15

450

11,088

8

9

3,600

Alianza

1/4

24.50

735

79,900

8

64

5,880

The Almanac

1/4

14.27

428

30,000

8

24

3,424

Grand Total

97,818

Note. “Total” in dollars. CPI = cost per inch. CPA = cost per ad. GRP = Gross Rating Points.
Source: SRDS Media Solutions, Newspaper Media, (n.d.).

NIKE FREE RUNNING

14

Table 4
TV Campaign Pricing- San Francisco

TV Show

Rating

DP

CPP

CPA

Walking Dead

7.0

Prime

2,086

14,602

World Cup Soccer

2.0

Access

796

Monday Night
Football

4.3

Prime

CBS Football

2.5

ABC Football

# of ads

GRP

Total

24

168

350,448

1,592

16

32

25,472

2,086

8,970

32

138

287,040

Prime

2,086

5,215

32

80

166,880

2.0

Prime

2,086

4,172

32

64

133,504

Sportscenter

0.8

Access

796

637

16

13

9,843

30 for 30

0.9

Prime

2,086

1,877

16

14

30,038

Big Bang Theory

2.2

Prime

2,086

4,589

16

35

73,427

Scandal

1.7

Prime

2,086

3,546

16

27

56,739

Modern Family

5.6

Prime

2,086

11,682

16

90

186,906

Grand Total

1,320,297

Note. “Total” in dollars. DP = Day part. CPP = Cost per point CPA = Cost per ad. GRP = Gross
Rating Points. Source: SRDS Media Solutions, TV & cable Media, (n.d.).

NIKE FREE RUNNING

15
Appendix A
Magazine ad
(see following one page)

NIKE FREE RUNNING

16
Appendix B
Outdoor ad
(see following one page)

NIKE FREE RUNNING

17
Appendix C
Radio script
(see following one page)