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38 things Dan Wieden did beyond creating ‘Just do it’ for Nike

Wieden+Kennedy India’s chief creative officer Santosh Padhi writes how his legendary boss Dan Wieden made advertising an aspirational industry.

By  Santosh PadhiOct 11, 2022 10:22 AM
38 things Dan Wieden did beyond creating ‘Just do it’ for Nike
Dan Wieden, co-founder of Wieden-Kennedy created the most famous tagline in advertising history, Nike’s ‘Just do it!’ He started off his career at McCann Ericksson where he met his future business partner David Kennedy.

We've all been reading headlines that say, Dan Wieden created the tagline “Just do it”. I feel Dan Wieden and David Kennedy created something that’s beyond advertising, something that’s unmatchable in the years to come. Dan made a generation of us believe, we can do it too.

Dan created the agency with a creative partner David Kennedy.

He created the agency on April Fool's Day.

He created 9 different creative cultures in their respective cities.

He created 1500 wonderful people across the globe.

He created people who now work for other networks.

He created a ‘not for sale’ advertising agency.

He created a provocative culture.

He created the belief that it’s okay to fail.

He created inspiration out of chaos.

He created a diverse and inclusive culture.

He created a consider-back policy for ex-employees.

He created a culture of different voices and points of view.

He created a blunt and honest relationship with clients.

He created a system full be stupid people.

He created a no-work-compromise no-bull-shit ethos.

He created a vision for all W+K folks to take it forward.

He created the very first TV spot for Nike in 1988.

He created creative consistency for four decades.

He created creative directors and film directors.

He created inspiration in creatives by raising the creative standard.

He created healthy competitiveness in the industry.

He created many things that we are scared to attempt.

He created the urge in creatives to set up their own shops.

He created stickiness during SuperBowl.

He created a new pop culture.

He created work that started a conversation in the society.

He created newer formats of storytelling.

He created a culture of craft in communication.

He created work that works even today.

He created work that’s beyond advertising.

He created hope in this industry, when it was needed the most.

He created an invitation to the youth to join the industry.

He created all of these effortlessly.

He created Portland, in a way.

He created job opportunities in Portland.

He created Caldera Foundation that supports many artists.

He created brands like Nike, Honda, Old Spice, Coke, Samsung, Microsoft, ESPN, Bud Light, Chrysler, Facebook.

He created work like Bo knows, Air Jordon, Live Strong, Write the future, Cog, Grrr, Impossible dream, Coke side of life, The man your man could smell like, Thanks mom, The high life man, Born of fire, This is Sports Centre and many inspiring pieces of work.

By the way, he also created “Just do it” for Nike.

The writer is the chief creative officer of Wieden+Kennedy India. Views expressed are personal.

First Published on Oct 11, 2022 10:22 AM