"Take on TJ" takes the prize

The Advertising Research Foundation announced its 2017 Ogilvy Award winners this week and the Grand Winner was Nike’s “Take on TJ” campaign.

This campaign was in support of Nike’s “Gear Up “ initiative, which encourages teenage athletes to stock up on the equipment they will need for the coming sports season.

The key insight was developed around social listening and Google search trends. Teen athletes spend their summers the way most teenagers do – going on vacations, working, partying, and hanging out.  But when fall sports season approaches, they start to freak out, wondering if they’re going to be in good enough shape to compete.

This campaign highlights the fictional but yet all too real “TJ,” the adversary who is always just a little better than you.  The one you always want to beat but can’t.  They launched the campaign on Facebook and YouTube and it blew up. They created a humble-bragging Twitter account for TJ and had NFL star Richard Sherman at the customer service center answering all TJ-related calls.

According to the case study linked above, typical Nike seasonal campaigns generate 10,000-12,000 website visits in a month.  TJ generated 1.5 million visits and Nike considers it one of its most successful social campaigns to date.