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Are Slogans and 'Big Ideas' Gone for Good?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Remember in the '80s when Nike came up with three words that somehow stuck around forever? It was marketing genius; a slogan that really encapsulated the big Nike idea. “Just do it” were three words that brought together fragmented media and demonstrated exactly what the brand set out to do. It was easy to understand, the words were everywhere, and Nike completely embraced the slogan in everything it did from that point on. Not for six months or a couple of years, but for decades. Yes, decades. That’s a big idea; one that has legs and forces a brand to succeed. Now think about the last five years — any slogans that live up to “Just do it”? Not exactly. There have been some good ones from Apple and VW, but none that have had the mass appeal to live for almost 25 years. So maybe this is the last of the slogans, but is it the end of big ideas too?

“Just do it” celebrates 25 years this month. A slogan that allowed Nike to create success in multiple ways through multiple years and truly be followed and understood by everyone. It was this simple, yet big, idea that helped the brand grow through the decades and truly evolve with the world. Today there are other things like social media, video, and virtual who-knows-whats. The point is that maybe there isn’t a need for something to bring a brand through 25 years because with ever-changing options it’s just easier to roll with what’s new and upcoming. Instead of big ideas, will brand success mean a compilation of smaller ideas that move from one to the next? Maybe that’s the more modern way of “big ideas.”

But there’s something refreshing and real about big ideas. It’s something that’s able to cut across barriers and unify. It’s like brand hope — it gives customers the ability to see into the future with the brand and willingly go along for the ride. It’s exciting, it’s long-lasting, and quite frankly it just works. So maybe big ideas aren’t the “thing” of this decade, but they shouldn’t be counted out. Because imagine a big idea that brings a brand from today all the way to 2038. This simple thing can do more than a string of tweets or a viral video. It’s what a brand will be built on and everyone is following right along.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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