NIKE NEXT%: SPEED IS YOUR CURRENCY

Short List
TitleNIKE NEXT%: SPEED IS YOUR CURRENCY
BrandNIKE
Product / ServiceNIKE
CategoryA03. Durable Consumer Goods including Automotive
EntrantMINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Idea Creation MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Media Placement MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Production AKQA Shanghai, CHINA

Credits

Name Company Position
Lauren Cadman Mindshare Business Director
Matthew Nolan Mindshare General Manager
Nicholas Short Mindshare Marketing Lead
Benjamin Condit Mindshare Chief Strategy Officer

Background

Launching the Next%, Nike’s fastest running shoe yet, Nike had only a limited amount of stock. As a result, the launch was not about generating mass sales, but instead about creating mass belief in Nike’s product superiority. Typically, brands will achieve this through “limited edition” releases snapped up by the fastest online clickers, only to be resold at higher prices to the frustration of individuals. Because these types launches are losing their novelty, we needed a new way to create hype by ensuring only the worthiest buyers would have access to the shoe. Nike needed to harness data to identify and engage the nation’s fastest runners for whom this shoe was specifically designed to ensure it could direct runners with different paces on the right purchase journey. Amongst this audience of runners, Nike wanted to increase brand favorability, create hype for the launch of the Next% and drive purchase desire.

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

For Next% to become an icon of speed, we needed to understand what speed meant for runners. Research revealed that both Front Runners (fastest) and Everyday Runners are hungry for speed, but their motivations differ. For Front Runners, speed is a quest for pride, with 99% of this group tracking their runs to do post-run analysis. Using data to deliver dynamic creative messages, Nike was able to deliver the ultimate form of pride for achieving their goals: exclusive access to the Next%. For Everyday Runners, what makes a purchase decision is largely driven by the ‘influencers of speed’ that they follow. In fact, 87% of this make their decision based on the athletes who own the product. By limiting Next%’s sales to only the fastest runners, we could stimulate purchase desire amongst Everyday Runners and redirect their interest towards Nike’s entry level product: Nike Fast Pack.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Nike’s Next% is the fastest running shoe ever created, allowing those who run in them to run more than 2% faster. For this reason, Nike wanted to ensure the Next% would only be worn by its most dedicated runners to help them achieve their fastest pace. This shift in approach not only required intelligent use of data to identify and reward the fastest runners, it also meant that Nike needed to rework their product distribution plan, reserving the product for only the fastest runners. Ultimately, Nike created the ultimate new currency for runners to purchase the industry’s top product: speed. In order to facilitate the reward system and ensure we were reaching the fastest runners where speed matters most to them, we integrated our mechanism within the pacing apps used daily by over 24 million runners - YDK, Xiaomi and Yudong - daring them to go faster.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Across China’s most popular running platforms, Nike used a runner’s speed as a currency to unlock access to Next%. Front Runners with an average pace of 4:55 minutes per kilometre for males and 5:40 minutes per kilometre for females had the ability to qualify. Upon clicking Nike’s call to action, users were then directed on a different journey depending on their pace data. Front runners were directed to a QR download page which would enable them to purchase Next%’s, while Everyday Runners were directed to the “Fast Pack” page for an opportunity to purchase Nike’s entry-level product. Integrating with each apps tracking technology allowed for easy synchronisation with pace data. Collaborating with running community app, Joyrun, enabled Nike to stir interest amongst the running groups. As Next% remains an expensive product, runners require some decision-making time. To address this, a second phase was launched two weeks after to re-engage runners.

List the results (30% of vote)

Next% business objective was to reinforce Nike’s position as preferred footwear brand, measured within their quarterly brand health tracker. Next%’s innovative use of a runner’s speed as their currency delivered superb results, setting Nike aside from the competition. The campaign’s communication objective was to establish Next% as an icon for speed. In media this was measured through both runner engagement with our campaign and purchase desire through participation. Next% successfully engaged 1,460,000 unique users of which 918,000 demonstrated purchase desire by participating to find out if their pace had enough speed to unlock Next%. Out of the 277,000 Front Runners using our four apps a whopping 20% engaged with the campaign with 31,000 of them demonstrating purchase desire by using their pace as a currency to unlock Next% vs the initial stock units.

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