Nike’s slogan was first coined in the late eighties at an advertising agency meeting.
Over the next ten years, that historic campaign allowed the shoe company to increase sales from eight hundred million to nine billion.
Not bad for an empty, three word sentence.
But of course, the joke’s on us. Because while the company was printing money urging its customers to just do it, our global conception of motivation was completely destroyed.
Suddenly, everyone was living inside of a shoe commercial. A fantasy world where the only motivation people needed was to hear those three magic words, and they’d be off to the races.
But that’s not how human behavior operates. Telling somebody to just do it is like telling a manic depressive to just snap out of it.
I’d wager twelve thousand dollars that, in the history of humankind, nobody has ever heard those three words, paused in contemplative rapture, stood up from their chair with fire in their eyes and gone on to change their life.
It just doesn’t work.
Think back to an instance when you struggled to pulled the trigger on a new project, habit, behavior or dream that was important to you. For whatever reason, you just couldn’t seem to execute your goal.
My question is, if some hero attempted to bestow his motivational tough love upon you by making the proclamation, just do it, would you have done it?
Of course not. Because if just do it was all it was going to take, then you would have just done it by now.
And so, if we have any intention of inspiring people to motivate themselves, we might consider using language that’s helpful to their journey and empathetic to their struggle.
Not a marketing slogan decided by seven middle aged white men sitting around a board room.
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What type of language motivates you to take action?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Now booking for 2017-2018.
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