The name of this class is Strategic Message Design. For a while, I treated strategic as a synonym for complicated. It’s not surprising, if you think about it. When I think of strategy, I picture hours of planning and thought, working hard to come up with the best possible answer.
It wasn’t until just recently that I realized a strategic message doesn’t have to be long and complex. It can be as simple as you make it, and maybe even more effective.
Meet David and Dan.
David Kennedy and Dan Wieden are the founders of Wieden + Kennedy, one of the most successful independently owned advertising agencies in the world. These two gentlemen are masters in their field, and the inspiration behind this blog post. Creators of possibly the most simple and effective slogan ever written.
That’s right, they were the creators of Nike’s Just Do It campaign — one of the most successful communication campaigns ever conducted.
Dave and Dan are important because they embody the philosophy of brutal simplicity, a strategy proving to be incredibly effective in winning over an audience. How effective, you ask?
The Just Do It campaign was launched in 1988, and named one of the top five advertising slogans of the 20th century by Advertising Age. It was later enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution. Yes, the Smithsonian. So what do we have to learn from Wieden + Kennedy?
In a world cluttered with “too much advertising,” short and powerful messages usually have a much larger effect on our target audience. The concept of Just Do It could have easily been explained in a sentence, maybe even a paragraph. That wasn’t strong enough for Nike though, or Dave and Dan for that matter. Instead, they got the point across in three words. The approach was short, meaningful, and strong. It was effective. It was strategic.
To learn more about the inspiration and thought-process behind the Just Do It campaign, as well as the tremendous impact it had on America’s society, feel free to watch the video below.
Once again, thanks for the time.