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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Slogan Story

One of the great results of a good brainstorming session are the "flashes of insight" from the team ... those unique little “thought seeds” that have the potential to be expanded upon to find a conclusion for a specific problem.

A good example is the development of the unforgettable Nike slogan: “Just Do It”.

Would you be surprised to hear that this classic was inspired by the words of a man convicted of murdering 2 people in Utah?

I was.

But this isn’t about murder, it’s about the “flashes of insight” generated in a good brainstorming session.

In his book Imagine How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehr tells the story of advertising executive Dan Wieden brainstorming a new slogan for Nike in 1988. The session apparently ended without the results desired, but later, according to Lehr, Weiden recalled a comment a colleague had made about The Executioner's Song (1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Norman Mailer) about the events surrounding the execution of two-time killer Gary Gilmore.

The comment specifically referenced Gilmore’s last words: “Let’s just do it.”


A “flash of insight” leads Weiden to the answer he is looking for ... Nike’s new slogan: “Just do it”

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