Nike shoes with its famous ‘swoosh’ logo.
One of the world’s most famous slogans ‘Just Do It’ was inspired by the final words of a double murderer.
Along with Nike’s signature ‘Swoosh’ logo, the ‘Just Do It’ catchphrase is credited with changing the fate of Nike in the 1980s.
In 1988, advertising executive Dan Wieden was struggling to think of a tagline for Nike, which was competing with Reebok for control of the sneaker market.
In an interview with Dezeen, Wieden explained he was trying to come up with a phrase that would tie together several TV ads in order to broaden the appeal of Nike.
“The night before I got a little concerned because there were five different teams working, so there wasn’t an overlying sensibility to them all. Some were funny, some were solemn,” he said.
Wieden then remembered a man from Portland a decade earlier who had murdered two people and was sent to jail before facing a firing squad.
“They asked him if he had any final thoughts and he said: ‘Let’s do it’, Wieden explained.
“I didn’t like ‘Let’s do it’ so I just changed it to ‘Just do it’.”
When the phrase was put to Nike co-founder Phil Knight, he dismissed the idea.
“Phil Knight said ‘we don’t need that shit,’ Wieden said.
But Wieden persuaded Knight to give the tagline a change and the rest is history.