Nike Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in the United States. It majorly focuses on designing, manufacturing, and marketing footwear accessories. Over the years, the Nike Inc. has maintained a strong brand in the sports equipment and accessories industry but has experienced intense competition as well. For instance, Asics had a slight competitive advantage in the sector majorly on the sales of the female shoes. Although Nike designed and manufactured women shoes, it had not taken a step to communicate and market this product to the target group exclusively and thus provided a chance for Asics to lead the market. Upon extensive scrutiny, Nike found the gap and sought to utilize the opportunity to promote the product line by communicating and connecting to female runners. It was to this effect that Nike developed the integrated marketing campaign titled "She Runs The Night" in 2012 (Nike News, 2018).
The campaign, "She Runs The Night" which encompassed a night race that targeted women in Sydney. The step was significant in widening the brand communication to a wider customer target including women as Nike often concentrated on male athletes. Through the customer feedback acquired from the social platform covering the existing target base, Nike discovered that women had the habit of running alone. More importantly, Nike unmasked that women have a great concern for the safety risks they encounter while undertaking night runs. Therefore, Nike found the desire to provide the women with an avenue to discuss and share the running experiences. The underlying perception was that women runners lack the platform to share, communicate, conquer barriers, and achieve goals together. It is in this case that the idea to create "She Runs The Night" was created. The campaign aimed to establish a community conducive for young females who have the desire and passion for running (Nike News, 2018). The target audience entailed young female runners aging between 20 and 30s who had a strong passion and desire to run mainly during the night. Through the campaign, Nike had a significant objective to connect women and get them to talk about Nike all over. The campaign was successful where it had over 3500 women participants that led to the development of the 'Nike Women's Race Series' that occurs in 15 cities across the globe encompassing approximately over 50, 000 women. The success of the campaign is exhibited on the various awards acquired in the media industry including the 'Best Integrated Media category at the 2012 Media Federation of Australia Awards' and 'Best Engagement Strategy at the Festival of Media Award Asia' (Nike News, 2018).
The critical analysis of the "She Runs The Night" campaign will utilize two concepts; semiotics and rhetoric analysis (Tag, 2012, 89). Semiotic analysis is often used in an adverting where the advertiser uses symbols and sign to convey the intended message to the target group. These signs and symbols usually have a specific meaning (Oswald, 2015, 36). Although sometimes the signs and symbols may not encompass an exact representation of the message being signified, some symbols may have a close association with the intended message. The model is significant to the campaign as various symbols and images related to the message designed for the target group. For instance, Nike uses women who participate in a night run to signify their intended desire to expand the product line on women shoes and enhance women safety during a night run at night.
The rhetoric analysis is a persuasion concept that helps to determine the specific strategies that the advertiser is using to persuade the audience and achieve the desired objectives effectively (McQuarrie and Phillips, 2016, 135). It entails the use of the rhetoric triangle that includes the three modes of persuasion namely; ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos refers to the measures that make the advertiser appear credible to the audience. When the audience perceives the advertiser to be credible, then, it will be easy to persuade the audience and convey the intended message. Pathos refers to the emotional appeal that the audience experience upon receiving the message. Based on the intended objective, the message has to trigger either happiness, anger, sadness, anxiety, or the feeling of love to the audience. Lastly, logos refer to the logic aspect associated with the message. It means that the message should be backed up with facts, proof, and other research findings that can provide adequate evidence. It allows the message to appear credible to the audience making it easy to persuade them effectively. The rhetoric concept is relevant in the critical analysis as it helps to evaluate if the semiotic aspects incorporated in the campaign help to achieve the intended objectives (Meyer, 2017, 205).
The campaign, "She Runs The Night" was successful, and it achieved the intended objectives. The core objectives were to create a safe running community for women, to increase the awareness of the Nike brand, to promote the product line entailing the running shoes for women, and to inspire the association among female consumers and Nike through online and offline platforms.
The campaign incorporated the core aspects of semiotic analysis. For instance, the Nike, "She Runs The Night" campaign encompasses images, text, sound, and colour that have a significant meaning to the intended message. It contains images of women wearing the sports outfit ready to run. The "She Runs The Night" video advertisement contains women engaging in a night run and at the beginning, the ad shows a woman who ignored the late clicking clock and continues to run. The woman feels empowered and asserts that 'the more of us that run, the brighter we can burn' (YouTube, 2018). The images are directly associated with the intended message since the objective of the campaign majorly focuses on women and developing a safe environment. It shows the importance of community in creating a safe environment for women. Also, the ad encompasses a scenario where these women participate on an actual late night run. Again, the symbol is significant as it relates to the intention of the campaign since the use of actual people helps to emphasize the message.
The campaign also encompasses the text character reading, "She Runs The Night" which also directly relate to the objective of the campaign. The text is developed from the fact that the campaign involves women running at night where 'she' refers to the women. Also, the text is often expressed in yellow colour with a Nike symbol in red, or the text represented in red while the Nike symbol is expressed in yellow (YouTube, 2018). While the Nike right shaped symbol is present to promote awareness of Nike brand, the colours are also symbolic to the campaign intentions. The combination of these two colours acts as a stimulant. Yellow is usually associated with energy, joy, and happiness and it is also considered to ignite muscle energy and arouse happiness. Being a campaign that promotes running, the colour is symbolic since the activity requires muscle energy. Therefore, Nike uses the colour to stimulate energy among the target audience. Also, women are often perceived to be cheerful and happy. The colour is highly significant in relating to the personalities of the target group. Similarly, the red colour is associated with energy, love, passion, determination, and power. It often stimulates the human metabolism and increases energy. It thus plays a significant role in enhancing energy among the women intended to participate in the campaign.
Consequently, the "She Runs The Night" campaign posters are designed in such a way that the background has a sharp contrast to the text. While the background is black, the writings and the images are presented in a bright colour that appears to highly attractive to the target audience, in this case, the women. The contrasting appearance help inspires women to participate in night runs as it sparkles energy and joy as they run as a group.
The success of the Nike's "She Runs The Night" campaign is influenced by the effective utilization of the relevant modes of persuasion. As discussed earlier, the campaign encompasses the three critical elements of the rhetoric triangle including ethos, pathos, and logos (Oswald, 2015, 34).
On the ethos element, the campaign uses various strategies to enhance the credibility of the message effectively (Shao, 2013, 178). For instance, the campaign utilizes actual women who participate in a late night run in Sydney. By using an actual experiment, and the fact that Nike holds a strong brand loyalty enhances the credibility and trust of the message. Before beginning the race, Nike provides the women with personalized training in preparation for the event. Additionally, it allowed the women to fit in the running shoes before the event and also provided offline training sessions. This, in turn, allowed the target audience to experience the actual product and hence creating a positive impression that contributed to the success of the campaign. Consequently, the development of the other sites such as the launch of the "Nike She Runs" Facebook page helped to create awareness among the target group. By appointing a young female runner to voice the campaign through the Facebook page where the woman persuaded women n to share their running experiences, it received positive feedback. Within a month, Nike acquires approximately 16, 000 likes and over14, 000 people talking about the Nike brand (Nike News, 2018). It was an achievement of one of the objectives where Nike aimed to persuade women to get talking about the Nike brand.
The pathos element was also relevant to aid in persuading the target audience. The video advertisement appeals to the emotion of the audience (Shao, 2013, 179). Every woman desires the need to be loved and aspires to receive recognition and provision of a safe environment. Moreover, the campaign focused on bringing women together so that they participate in the night run together while sharing their experiences to enhance the connectivity since the company improve safety. As women run together, it is evident that the feeling of togetherness ignites happiness, joy, security, and the desire to persevere especially to the die-hard sports fans. It also aids in campaigning against the male-dominated community where male is considered as more significant players o sports as compared to the female counterparts. This helps to alleviate the feeling of recognition among the females and thus arousing happiness and joy. As a result, it is successful to persuade the target audience. Additionally, the use of digital platforms such as Facebook and mobile connectivity was relevant to match the social behaviours of women in the society. Besides, a successful advertising campaign has a strong rhetoric appeal that can influence the emotions of the target audience to generate the required results (Tag, 2012, 92).
The logos element also plays a significant to crates a strong rhetoric appeal relevant in persuading the target audience successfully. The campaign is developed based on facts associated with the target audience (Shao, 2013, 180). The logic of the video advertisement lies in the spirit of enhancing safety among the women that participate in night runs. It strives to recognize that women are also significant in sports as the male counterparts. Initially, Nike concentrated on providing male sports accessories and failed to place more efforts to promo...
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