I have loved you since 2003. Wait, let me clarify—I was wearing your Swoosh way before then. Here I am at 8 years old:
It wasn’t until two decades later, though, that I really fell for you. Oddly enough, you appealed to my head first, then my heart. (I know, I’m definitely not your average fan.) For my brand management course in grad school, I did a case study on you and was hooked. I was intrigued by Young & Rubicam’s Brand Asset Valuator®, especially the idea of archetype branding. (For those of you who want to nerd out even more, get this definitive book on the subject.) You were hailed as the Hero Archetype, offering every body* the opportunity to show courage and strength. Everyone wants to be a Hero, natch.
But, let’s forget the highfalutin marketing concepts for a moment. I also have a visceral connection to you. There’s something so simple, universal and inspiring about your mantra “Just Do It.” No excuses. Get up and get out there. Triumph over adversity.
I count on you in practical ways too. During early morning training runs across the Key Bridge for my first marathon last year, the image of Joan Benoit Samuelson from your 2006 Awake commercial kept me going. On race day, I wore your Featherlite cap and your flattering Sports Top which had two invaluable pockets in the back where I stashed four gel packets. I felt heroic (although nothing compared to the Marines) and healthy—and yep, I looked good too.
I’ll be in Manhattan tomorrow, and your 21 Mercer boutique is one of two stores in Soho (the other being Opening Ceremony) that are on my must-see list. I know you only sell men’s stuff there, but I can’t wait to check it out anyway.
Thank you for being the coolest design shop around and for always keeping me wanting more.
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