A tribute to Dan Wieden, the brain behind Nike’s Just Do It, and much more
Dan Wieden, the man behind Nike’s iconic tagline ‘Just Do It’, an ad veteran and co-founder of independent creative agency Wieden+Kennedy passed away on September 30.
Wieden, who is best known as ‘one-half’ of his creative agency Wieden+Kennedy, passed away at the age of 77.
When Wieden launched the agency with the late David Kennedy in 1982, they had a single brand in their kitty – Nike. But for Wieden, chaos inspired creativity. “Chaos is the only thing that honestly wants you to grow. The only friend who really helps you be creative,” he believed.
In 1988, history was created when Wieden penned one of the most iconic taglines – Just Do It. After that, the agency went on to bag McDonald, Bud Light, Old Spice, Target, Levi’s, ESPN, Coca-Cola, and Honda, and delivered some iconic and ground-breaking campaigns.
Today, the agency is present in Delhi, New York, London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and Shanghai.
Nike’s tagline played a key role in shaping its brand image. Sharing what made the brand tick (pun not intended), he once said, “Nike didn’t discover the power of advertising, Nike discovered the power of their own voice.”
In the span of 40 in the creative field, Wieden worked on many iconic campaigns such as ‘Open’ for Coca-Cola, ‘We’ll be Here’ for McDonald’s, Nike’s ‘Never Too Far Down’ & ‘You Can’t Stop Us’, ‘Unstoppable Henry’ for Old Spice, among others.
However, he didn’t come from an advertising background. He graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication and worked in public relations for years before finding his true passion in advertising.
His work at the agency went on to win many accolades. Wieden was also Oregon’s Entrepreneur of the Year and secured a place in TIME Magazine’s list of 50 Cyber Elite.
Weiden dedicated his life to work. While he resigned in 2015, he stepped into a chairman position at the agency.