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Just Do It: The Top 7 Most Iconic Nike Ads EVER!

By February 28, 2023Nike

Coolest and Most Inspiring Nike Ads - AIO BotThere are two things that Nike is a MASTER of – besides actually designing sneakers! The Swoosh is a master in:
(1) creating the best Nike collaborations in sneaker history
(2) designing the coolest and most iconic Nike ads EVER

So, it isn’t every day that a sneaker brand finds the perfect formula when it comes to marketing. Unless you’re Kanye West and have naked models for a campaign… 👀

Appealing to sneakerheads is more than just showing them some pretty kicks. You gotta sell them culture, a story, some hype, and a big dash of exclusivity. Give them that FOMO feeling. Make them want to be a part of the movement you’re offering. And, that’s exactly what the Nike ads do!

It’s legit legendary! And, with inflation hitting sneakerheads, there has to be a unique selling point that’s just irresistible to make up for the prices!

In fact, Nike is well known for producing some of the most iconic, influential, and memorable campaigns in the world. This is probably what makes it one of the BEST and most popular sneaker brands in the world too! But, what makes the Nike ads so special, so iconic, and above all, so unforgettable?

Well, it’s because Nike doesn’t use a shove-down-my-throat approach. In other words, their commercials and campaigns rarely ever target a specific Nike product. That’s the genius of it all. It doesn’t feel like a sales-y type of commercial – which makes it all the more enjoyable! And now, without too much talking, let’s get into the actual Nike ads we love so much!



First, we’re going to start with one of the most eye-opening ads of all the Nike ads featuring Michael Jordan. Two years after Micheal signed with Nike, the duo came out with a campaign highlighting a certain part of his career. But, not the one you would think. MJ decided to highlight the bad parts instead! He talked about all of the shots he missed, all the games he lost, and all the times he failed the game-winning shots.

Our favorite line?

“I failed over, and over, and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Dream Crazy

One of our favorite, inspiring Nike ads is the “Dream Crazy” commercial from 2018 featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. A year later in 2019, the commercial was named OUTSTANDING at the Creative Arts Emmys. 

This was ultimately a reference to how Kaepernick’s take-a-knee protest against racial injustice cost him his NFL career. Although he suffered a lot of criticism and backlash, Kaepernick held on to his stand. To this day, this remains one of the most talked about Nike ads.

Our favorite line? 

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Dream Crazier

And then, a year later, another one of the most phenomenal Nike ads came out. It was an extension of the 2018 campaign called, “Dream Crazier”. Serena Williams narrated this campaign bringing so much more energy into women’s empowerment! It featured some of the most legendary female athletes that have forever changed the industry. 

Our favorite line?

“So if they wanna call you crazy? Fine. Show them what crazy can do.”

If You Let Me Play

Next, going a little back in Nike history, we’ve got yet another one on our list of amazing Nike ads! In 1995, Nike debuted their “If You Let Me Play” commercial focusing on sending a powerful message: support women in sports. The entire ad consists of little girls saying the words “if you let me play”… it sheds light on how marginalizing it can be to be a woman playing sports. And, how little girls were often not allowed to play in what was considered to be a male-dominated industry? Nike has always been supporting women in sports and even female sneakerheads in the industry!

Our favorite line?

“I will learn what it means to be strong. If you let me play sports.”

Worth the Wait

Also, there are the Nike ads that a more emotional, the ones that make you feel like you’re part of something. This is how the “Worth the Wait” commercial had us feeling. After 50 years, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship. And Nike decided to honor them! It was the first major title for the city since 1964! 

Our favorite line?

“We’re the champs”


Next, we have more Nike ads speaking truth, empowerment, and reality. The “Equality” campaign spoke directly to people on diversity and equality. It aired during the Grammys Awards featuring: Serena Williams, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Victor Cruz, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, and Gabby Douglas. It spoke the things that everyone needed to hear.

Our favorite line?

“Here you’re defined by your actions. Not your looks or beliefs.
Equality should have no boundaries”

Mamba Forever

Finally, the last of the Nike ads on the list is “Mamba Forever”. This commercial came out in honor of the late Kobe Bryant after he tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in 2020. It came out on the day that THOUSANDS of people assembled at the Staples Center for his memorial service.

Our favorite line?

“Legacy Forever. Husband Forever. Daddy Forever. Live Forever. Mamba Forever”