Let’s talk about the Nike ad

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Nike is no stranger to politics.

With 54 years of brand experience in its back pocket, Nike has demonstrated, again and again, that the line between brand and politics is a hard one to define. Just weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Nike released “Equality,” an ad featuring LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Gabby Douglas, among other prominent black athletes. The message was clear: “Encourage people to take the fairness and respect they see in sport and translate them off the field.” So after signing a deal with NFL free agent and social rights activist Colin Kaepernick, Nike proved once again that taking a stance is part of its brand.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that contributed to Nike’s 31 percent spike in online sales following the ad release.

1. Do not underestimate the power of visual storytelling.

Marking the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, the new ad is not simply a commercial that advertises the company’s athletic apparel. It is a production, a film, an attempt to transform Nike from a shoe company into a lifestyle brand. It takes not only visual aesthetics into account but the value of audio as well. Kaepernick’s voice is a decisive backdrop to a compilation of clips highlighting world-class athletes, underdog success stories, and Kaepernick’s personal triumphs. The words themselves (“Don’t believe you have to be like anybody to be somebody.”) read like lyrics. It is that entertainment factor that pushes the “Dream Crazy” video beyond the traditional scope of advertising.

2. Messaging is key.

Not once does Nike mention its products — and yet, without saying a word, Nike apparel suddenly seems to mean something much greater than comfortable exercise-wear. Nike strategically designed the “Dream Crazy” message to appeal to a largely young, liberal-skewing demographic. This works for two reasons. Firstly, pathos, while invisible, is a powerful advertising tool. Secondly, the next time someone within Nike’s demographic thinks about their athletic aspirations, they will think of Nike. This technique is best described using another example. With its 1997 “Think Different” campaign, Apple famously connected its brand not to computers but to innovation and creativity.

3. History matters.

Despite some backlash and an initial 3 percent dip in stock price, the ad’s greatest achievement is making Nike culturally relevant. Had Nike released a traditional ad featuring its products, no one would be talking about the brand. “Nike wants to be on the right side of history and the right side of its core consumers,” said Antonio S. Williams, a sports marketing professor at Indiana University. Especially for a company that has not always been socially cognizant (re: unsafe labor conditions at its foreign factories in the 1990s), it’s important now more than ever for the company to define its brand. In Nike’s case, that means standing up for something you believe in.

4. Plan partnerships strategically.

While Kaepernick was “blackballed” by the NFL after igniting the anthem kneeling movement, Nike was, and is, the exclusive provider of the NFL’s jerseys. So choosing Kaepernick as the face of the 30th anniversary of “Just Do It” toed a tremendously precarious line. However, the unapologetically bold, 2-minute ad weighs risk with gain. Wholly embracing Kaepernick as an athlete, activist, and icon, Nike maximized the ad’s effect by holding nothing back and being truly authentic. Signing on Kaepernick was equal parts a political move and a marketing move.

At a time when everyone who wears athletic apparel is looking at Nike, other companies must work to regain attention and customers. As Nike transforms the shoe industry, other companies must choose whether to follow suit or remain traditional. And perhaps, in that sense, the new ad’s tagline is applicable not only to Kaepernick but to the Nike brand itself: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Nicole Sadek

Nicole Sadek

Analyst and Copywriter





Digital Marketing Trends Of 2018

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Rethinking Digital Marketing in 2018


In just the past few years, the expansion of digital marketing has created a massive shift in the way businesses interact with current and potential clients. But 2018 has shaped up to be the year that businesses move away from the expansion complex to a more focused approach. Consumers’ interests are becoming more distinct, and companies must optimize their advertising strategies to meet those interests. Here are four of the ways businesses are rethinking digital advertising in 2018.


Email Marketing

Concise email campaigns target specific audiences within a company’s pool of customers. This means that each email a customer receives is tailored to his or her needs.

The basics:

  • Communicate with clients on a consistent (non-excessive) basis.
  • Continually optimize and retest your email techniques.
  • Quality over quantity. Too many emails means more unsubscribers.
  • Branding is everything.
  • Optimize emails for mobile.

In 2015, $1 spent on email marketing yielded an ROI of $38 on average.

Every effective email campaign begins with the Welcome email — a thank you message and brief explanation of the service’s major features — sent to customers immediately after they sign up. Uber’s Welcome email, for example, offers customers three simple instructions: open the app, add a destination, and enjoy the ride. Uber’s second email provides more information, encouraging customers to take their first ride. During the holidays, Uber, like many companies, sends out referral and promotional offers, creating timely, action-oriented steps customers can take to improve their experience with the service.


Video Advertising

Like email, video advertising emphasizes brand over product. Apple’s 1997-2002 “Think Different” campaign used visual tools of storytelling to refine its brand. Although it’s been more than a decade since the “Think Different” ad, one thing still holds: video advertising attracts more consumers and drives action. The expansion of video platforms — Facebook Live, YouTube, Snapchat — means that businesses can no longer be competitive without video advertising.

According to Forbes, more than 500 million people per day watch video on Facebook…

… and almost 50 percent of internet users look for videos related to a business or product before going to the store. It’s an attractive way of explaining who you and your business are to your audience while increasing your content portfolio, driving more people to visit your business’s site.

Instagram stories have become popular modes of video advertising. When creating your stories, it is imperative to incorporate action and color in the first few seconds of the video. Instagram users will likely click through stories, so the first moments must capture their attention. For better reception, Instagram story ads should also look less like ads and more like natural Instagram stories, according to Natalie Athanasiadis, head of digital at Digital Visibility Group. Try using Facebook Ads Manager to run your Instagram story ads. The platform allows you to choose your advertising goal, set your budget, and view how your stories perform among your audience.


Mobile Strategies

Successful businesses learned to optimize their websites for mobile years ago, but many are still hesitant to incorporate other mobile strategies in their digital marketing campaigns. Text messages can be used to remind customers of a service or update them on an order. Consumers are more likely to engage with a brand when information is at the tip of their fingers; this goes hand-in-hand with a strong social media presence. It was once OK for businesses to use either Facebook or Instagram or another social medium. Now, companies must distinguish themselves on every popular social channel.


User-generated Content

Clients value honesty. While business-generated content yields results, passing off your product to an influencer and encouraging consumers to review your business can influence others to try your product. Two examples, for instance, include blogging and vlogging. That content is then shared with friends, who share it with their friends, and so on. It’s a relatively simple way to increase brand awareness, improve credibility, and expand your audience. When consumers are given outlets to share their experiences, they feel better connected to the brand, creating a domino effect of positive feedback.

74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their buying decisions, according to ODM Group.

A free and easy way to begin gathering user-generated content is through the creation of a hashtag. Develop a hashtag with which your customers can connect; promote it on your social channels, website, and emails; and encourage your audience to use it. Set up a hashtag monitor and feature user posts on your company’s social media.



Here’s the truth: successful businesses are created out of creative marketing. While these four techniques may get you closer to your goal, whatever it may be — larger audience, increased awareness, etc. — you must take your digital marketing campaign one step further. Constantly evaluate the technology landscape. Assess your consumers’ dynamic interests. Refine your brand.


And don’t be afraid to change with time.


Nicole Sadek

Nicole Sadek

Analyst and Copywriter






Recycling Paint To Help Those In Need

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R ony Delgarde is a man with an enormous heart that leads and equally large organization. He is the founder of Global Paint for Charity, a non-profit organization that takes unwanted paint from businesses and individuals, and provides it to those in need. After coming to the United States from Haiti, Rony founded the organization in 2010 and built it into an entity with a truly global impact. Since 2010 Global Paint for Charity has shipped more than 120,000 gallons of paint to 18 different countries.

We first met Rony at Emory University where he was mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs on how to build successful businesses that make a positive impact. After listening to the words of wisdom he had to share, we knew we had to learn more about his story. Regardless of what your ambitions are – nonprofit, technology, finance, and so on – Rony’s passion and heart for helping others is an example you should take to heart. We’re sharing some of the highlights from our interview with Rony to help inspire others the way he has inspired us.

“I could have done this for profit and made so much money, but I thought about the way I grew up and all the people who couldn’t even afford paint. I knew that there were people making less than $10 a day. With color, these people are able to enjoy the beauty of their homes and their communities in new ways.”

Rony founded Global Paint for Charity because he knew there was a tremendous supply of unused paint and an even larger demand for that paint. For a typical entrepreneur, identifying large supply and large demand means dollar signs. But Rony isn’t a typical entrepreneur. He realized that the good he could do vastly outweighed any amount of money he could make. By every metric, Global Paint for Charity has been an incredible success. Because Rony’s success isn’t measured by his personal accomplishments, he will never run out of steam. As long as there are people who need color in their lives, Rony will always have a reason to stay inspired and motivated. Rony’s selflessness made us think of our own motivations for founding Pinnacle View. He reminded us that in order to grow a business that continually thrives, our mission has to be bigger than money. Not everyone is meant to found a non-profit, but every entrepreneur should ground their business in meeting the needs of others. If your company truly cares about helping the people that need you, then there will always be a reason to move forward with your best effort.

“My passion was color. Ever time I would see the effect of color, I think of being a kid and how we couldn’t afford paint and we couldn’t have color.”

We never know how our passions will manifest themselves in our career. Rony always had a passion for color but never became an artist. Instead, he found a different way to channel that passion into his affinity for entrepreneurship. That’s the true spirit of an entrepreneur. Think outside the box. Follow your passions. Chase your goals with a childlike fervor.  Then hold on tight and see where that takes you. If you’re going to fully dedicate yourself to a business, you might as well make sure it involves something you truly love. Even if in an unconventional way.  If you’ve already started your business and missed this crucial step, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to incorporate your passions. Find a way to do more of what you love in your business. We’re confident that will be for the best in the long run.  

“I had no money or resources. No network! People don’t trust you. The people who make decisions don’t know you and don’t trust you. Just because they have the paint, they doesn’t mean they will give it to you.”

The importance of having credibility and a reputation was something Rony hadn’t fully taken into account when he started Global Paint for Charity. He quickly realized that getting the donations he needed wasn’t as simple as finding someone who didn’t want their paint. Every entrepreneur faces some form of this in their business. You may have exactly what the market needs, but your target may decide to focus on the reasons not to buy (or in this case donate). So what was Rony’s solution? Persistence, learning, and charm. The traits of every good salesman. If you have something you believe will truly benefit others, don’t give up just because you keep hearing no. Learn from every opportunity. Learn about yourself and learn about others. Continue to track down good opportunities. And when those opportunities arise, make sure you’re charming.  A little charm can go a long way!  

“One thing about being your own boss is that you have to have discipline. I admit at first that was a struggle for me.”

One common misconception about being your own boss is that it means you have more freedom. In fact, becoming your own boss often means placing even more rules on yourself. Being a successful entrepreneur takes a ton of discipline. Time management, focusing, prioritization, and maintaining energy can all be more difficult when there’s no one looking over your shoulder. If you want to grow and sustain your business, you have to learn to work harder for yourself than you ever would for someone else. That’s no small task. It takes time and discipline to grow into that mindset. You’ll see that once you approach your business with the discipline it requires, achieving even the most ambitious goals can move well within reach.

“When you’re passionate about something you have to get out of your comfort zone.”

Having a passion for something like a business means being willing to push yourself to new heights. If you want to see what you and your company are capable of achieving,  you can’t remain content with approaching things the same way. Rony’s passion for Global Paint for Charity has taken him to new countries, put him in rooms with powerful leaders, cost him countless hours of sleep, and many other things he didn’t mention. His desire to make Global Paint for Charity as great as possible is what inspires him to work so hard and take chances.

“It’s looking at all the little pieces of everything, seeing how they come together that allows me to stay happy no matter what I’m doing. I’m happy everyday. If I told you I’d been up since 2am you wouldn’t believe me!”

One of the most striking things about Rony is how much joy he exudes at every moment. Most of the time running a business isn’t fun. It’s a stressful and challenging journey. Still, Rony never loses sight of how fortunate he is to have the opportunity to help others. That type of perspective is rare for such a busy person. 


It was truly inspirational to have a conversation with Rony. We were proud to interview him for “Celebrating Success”,  and look forward to working with him in the future. 

The Uber Of Fitness

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Mike Prosnick will not be stopped!

In fact, it’s doubtful he’ll ever even slow down. Mike’s unwavering passion for his business and his clients was clear from the moment we began our conversation with the JAM. Fitness founder.

JUST ABOUT ME Fitness (JAM. Fitness) is an innovative gym in Alpharetta, Georgia that allows its members 24/7 access to digital personal trainers and custom workout programs. The company was founded in 2014 by Mike Prosnick and is now the home gym for over 400 members. Before founding JAM Fitness, Mike had already started and sold several successful software companies. Mike’s experience with fitness based technology is a major reason why JAM. Fitness has the potential to become the “Uber of fitness”. (Just one of the many bold declarations Mike made during our interview).

Our talk with Mike was inspiring. We were excited to run out of his office and share his passion for life and business with the world. We think you’ll also be inspired by the passionate words shared by Alpharetta’s industry disrupting entrepreneur.[/vc_column_text]

Where did the inspiration for JAM Fitness come from?

I figured out the future of fitness. I knew that everything in the industry was moving toward small group training, but I could already see the challenges.  As a personal trainer, I believed in the 1on1 PT model, but I also knew it was too expensive for most people.  The answer was simple. People needed guidance, without the barriers of class times or expense.  They needed to be empowered to act as their own trainers -24/7.

I went home to my beautiful wife and said ‘Hey, I found out what I want to be when I grow up.’ I showed her my business plan and she said go for it. Just About Me Fitness was born. Since I jumped off that cliff I’ve been evolving JAM.Fitness, and it has not stopped.

I connected with two partners that I knew from previous businesses, and they urged me to explore IT development. Together we created the software platform JAMWORKOUT TrainerOnDemand. They developed the techie stuff, and I put it into practice in the club, boots on the ground. This meant we could learn quickly what worked and what didn’t, right here where it really matters, in the club. When it breaks; we fix. It breaks; we fix. It breaks again; we fix again, instead of doing it like big corporate would and just shoving it down your throat until it breaks, and everyone is screwed.  We are the essence of a lean start up. Before long, we grew tired of other companies not being able to fix so quickly. So, we built our own agnostic heart rate monitor. We’ve built our own programs for our bands.  We decided to become comprehensive.

Our club is unlike anything currently out there. Ours is not a typical circuit. It’s not about just going in a circle. You can do whatever you want to in here: traditional, functional, HIIT.  We’ve made workouts personalized within a group setting, the camaraderie without the competition.

“Fear is not a negative. It’s a driver if you look at it that way. I fear failure and I fear losing my members. That’s what drives me to make a better system every day.”

What are some of the principles you always follow when building a business?

Progress, not perfection is the key. It’s the key to anything. So many people don’t launch or start things because they don’t think it’s perfected. I don’t give a sh** about perfection. I throw it out there so that people can beat it up. Then I get the answer and make it better. And ask for feedback- I’m here with my people every day, so I’m taking surveys every day. I put something new out there and I ask 10 people what they think of it. If six out of ten people have the same answer, BOOM, that’s my answer! Instead of doing a poll every month, I’m doing it every day.  We pretty much have just continued to evolve for the last 3 years.

“Progress not perfection. Working the daily to get farther.”

Make it fun and EASY. When we were in here originally, we had touchscreens on the wall. You would swipe your band, and it would ask you to enter your sets, your reps, and your weight. I thought, (because I’m a geek and I love training), that I should be building it from my perspective, but no one cared about that. 12 people would go by a machine and not hit the right buttons. They didn’t care about it! They just wanted to know what to do and move forward. And my database kept crashing!  It did not work, time to evolve.

Every program on the market now is made by an exercise scientist or a programmer with all this logic behind it. Well, I say BS. What makes Zumba very successful? Move! Have fun! Sweat! Richard Simmons was the same way. Have fun and don’t make it too complicated.

How has marketing contributed to the business’s growth?

“I’m on social media. I’m not afraid to make a jacka** out of myself. I’m not afraid to show people basically everything I’m doing. Try to recreate it. You can’t.”

I’ve had such a good run in the industry for over 20 years.  There are a ton of people looking at me, but they’re not liking me online. I would talk to people and out of nowhere they’re telling me ‘I’ve been following you for three years.’ They just watched and observed. Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk) will tell you, it’s not about getting 5000 views, it’s about getting 1 view. If you get one view, who does that one view know? It could be a CEO. They could go and say,” ‘Those guys are onto something’. I know that what I’m saying now is better than what I was saying 1 year ago, or even 1 month ago.  I keep improving my social media, and my message.

All gyms market two ways right now. Either they are low-cost gyms, like Planet Fitness or LA Fitness, going after the price shoppers. Or they are looking for the high demographic of losing weight or body transformation.  6 weeks until you get bikini ready. 6 weeks until you get into your dress. That’s just a lie! 6 weeks? I don’t believe in those ways of marketing!

I have to find a new way to market. I gotta find a way to educate the member and to educate the industry. Neither knows what I’m doing in here. I got gym owners and industry people coming in here that say, ‘I’ve been to 4,000 gyms and never seen a club like this!’

Our system is flexible. It can change with the trends. That’s why so many small businesses fail. They are too rigid.

Why are you licensing out your software?

Right now, I want to help the middle market of gyms. For the next 6 months the whole fitness industry is praying that small group training is going to fix their gyms. They put kettle bells in their gyms, battle ropes in their gyms, you name it. They think everyone wants to do this functional training because it’s the next big thing. LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, places like that. They all put these turf areas in. They’re expecting people to pay extra for it. They have 5 classes a day. So that’s five hours a day probably. Do regular people know how to use battle ropes though? So now if it fails because people don’t want to pay extra for the classes, they have these beautiful areas that have made all these equipment companies rich- but the clubs are dying. My answer is our single lane TrainerOnDemand system.

“These gyms will have their own bracelets to offer members so that they can go to these areas when classes aren’t going, swipe in, and do their own trainer on demand. Now when that area isn’t doing small group training, they’re utilizing it for the other 19 hours. It’s a no-brainer! I’m not taking away small group classes, I’m complementing them.”

If you had to give words of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, what would you tell them?

Passion and persistence. If you don’t have a passion for what you do you’re not going to make it. Persistence means never hearing no.  I hear “not yet”. If you’re afraid of the word no, you’re in big trouble. If I don’t hear the word no 9 times a day, I didn’t ask enough questions.

“Disruption! I believe I’m the next uber of fitness. I believe fitness centers are all set up wrong. Either somebody’s gonna buy me out, or they’re gonna get knocked out.”