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Nike Band

Cannes 2012: Just Doing It

BY Matt Williams

In a blog post yesterday, we looked at the Outdoor Advertising Cannes Lions winners, and how a great idea can be rewarded whether it uses the very latest in cutting edge technology or rather more traditional techniques.

And at last night’s awards, the winners in the Cyber category proved once again that this can be the case.

Like in Outdoor, the Cyber Cannes Lions jury awarded two Grands Prix. And like Outdoor, one recognised an outstanding piece of cutting edge innovation, while the other rewarded a simple idea executed brilliantly.

The latter campaign was ‘Curators of Sweden’, an initative run by the Swedish institute which saw Sweden’s national Twitter handle (@Sweden) handed over to the country’s residents.

Billed as the world’s “most democratic Twitter account”, an eclectic mix of curators were chosen to oversee the account, to help showcase the diversity of the Swedish national character.

It was an inspiring and provocative campaign, and showed how powerful a good idea in digital can be, even if you’re using already existing technology.

Nike+ on the other hand, was far from simple. The campaign picked up the other Grand Prix after wowing the judges with its huge ambition and the strides that has been made in software development.

Coincidently (or not, if you’re feeling really cynical), Nike’s vice-president of Digital Sport Stefan Olander had taken to the Cannes Lions stage earlier that afternoon to talk about the strides Nike are making in digital - a drive spearheaded by Nike+.

Olander attributed Nike’s recent digital success not just to the company’s love of innovation, but also thanks to the company’s renewed desire to create an ‘ecosystem of services’ for their consumers.

Rather than Nike’s marketing activity being focused on simply shifting units, Olander explained that the product sale is now seen as the start of the company’s relationship with that consumer, as opposed to the end of it.

Nike+ for instance is a platform for an ongoing relationship between brand and consumer, working together to help improve fitness.

Significantly, this has even meant that the meaning behind Nike’s iconic strapline has had to be updated for the modern era. “’Just Do It’ is no longer just a message of inspiration,” Olander emphasised, “it’s now a message of inspiration and enablement.” It’s telling that a lot of the world’s biggest and critically acclaimed brands are taking the same approach.

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