Not Just Pros: How Nike Uses Emotional Branding

Social Media Strategies That Incorporate Feedback Help Stretch Brand Engagement

emotional brandingSome may say that social media is impersonal and in some ways, it can be. However, because social media has the power to connect people who might otherwise never know each other, brands can use emotional branding to personalize their message.

An impactful emotional branding strategy should be comprised of these concepts:

  • Intriguing
  • Appeals directly to human emotion
  • Relatable
  • Encourages brand loyalty

Emotional branding has a strong arm in advertising but what has made it even more powerful is social media strategies that help connect these messages with target audiences.

Advertising giant Nike has set the stage high for emotional branding. Nike ads are impactful, stirring and most important of all, memorable.

The most recent ad for Nike has started a slew of comments on social media because there have been mixed reactions to a commercial featuring a heavyset man running, sweat drenching his t-shirt, his face contorted in pain and discomfort. Some responses are supportive, viewers cheer the man along, posting comments with encouragement and praise.

Unfortunately, there are other comments too. People posted rude comments about the man’s appearance, his poor physical shape and calling the brand out, asking Nike why they would want such an unfit person wearing the Nike swoosh.

But Nike says their brand begins with motivation. This year, Nike unveiled ads featuring women admitting their biggest insecurities about working out. They want to show more and more people using their apparel at the beginning, middle and end of their journeys. This tactic has a very powerful effect: it ties into the emotional aspect of wearing the swoosh. Nike’s audience can only get so many goosebumps watching other athletes excel but they won’t be able to truly relate until they see another runner, another golfer, another housewife master yoga for the first time because that’s what they relate to.

The emotions that are spurred thanks to these ads illicit reactions from Nike’s target audience, thus creating an entirely separate campaign that rolls out on social media platforms, where people are sharing the videos with friends and family, reacting to their favorite stories and using them as inspiration.

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