Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

KICKS and Tricks: Discover how this athletic brand paid tribute to legends then and now! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

October 5, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

Step right into the world of guerrilla marketing!

For those of you who are new to this concept, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional and innovative marketing approach. According to Jay Conrad Levinson, this strategy often succeeds due to its cleverness and efficacy.

Today, we’ll dive into an ICONIC digital guerrilla marketing campaign to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a renowned sports brand in the U.S. in 2022.

Excited to know more about this topic?

Stay tuned as we uncover how this brand’s strategy ignited the passion of sports enthusiasts across generations around the globe.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

Imagine stepping into a time machine not to visit a distant era but to witness the fascinating moments between the past and the present.

That’s precisely what Nike pulled off when it marked its 50th anniversary in May 2022.

Who would’ve thought that a brief two-and-a-half-minute film could bridge the gap between sneakerheads, sports enthusiasts, and athletes from different generations across the globe? 

This scheme played out through Nike’s digital guerrilla marketing strategy called… 

The “Seen It All” Campaign!

Photo from Footwear News

“Seen It All” is a short film that paid tribute to all-time sports legends and moments people from all over the world couldn’t forget. The video spotlighted the greats of different generations, celebrating their contributions, potential, and passion.

The video was directed by Spike Lee, a well-known American filmmaker and actor famous for his thought-provoking and socially significant movies such as “Do the Right Thing” (1989) and “Malcolm X” (1992).  

In a nostalgic twist, Lee also played a role in the ad as he brought back his famous character, Mars Blackmon, from his 1986 movie, “She’s Gotta Have It.” Actress Indigo Hubbard-Salk joined the ad as Zimmie, the young and hopeful lead in the video.

Throughout the ad, viewers saw Mars and Zimmie have a conversation—or better yet, a mini-debate—about sports over a chess game. Mars enthusiastically recounts the famous faces and sporting events he’s witnessed over the past 50 years. Meanwhile, Zimmie challenges Mars by excitedly telling him about the future athletes and great sporting moments that the world’s yet to witness. 

Despite the past-versus-future banter, the two agreed on something. The ONE THING that these athletes have in common? 

“Yo, it’s gotta be the SHOES!” 

The discussion ended with Zimmie telling Mars: 

“Look OG, no disrespect, I know you think you’ve seen everything, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. Checkmate!” 

The “Seen It All” video was a nod to Nike’s incredible history and a big cheer for the company’s future as it celebrated 50 years in the industry.

Over 40 legendary Nike athletes, both from the past and the present, were featured in the video. It’s a star-studded lineup featuring superstars like: 

  • LeBron James
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Andre Agassi
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Michael Jordan
  • Naomi Osaka
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Tiger Woods
  • Bo Jackson
  • Sue Bird
  • Mia Hamm
  • Colin Kaepernick
  • Ja Morant

… and more.

The film wasn’t all that there was to the “Seen It All” campaign. In a behind-the-scenes image from the shoot, the two ad characters were seen posing in a pair of red, black, and white Jordan 4s and bright green Off-White x Nike Air Force 1s shoes. 

Photo from Footwear News

This was posted on Nike’s official Instagram page. 

What else? 

Throughout May 2022, Nike also provided fans with exclusive content from the “Department of Nike Archives (DNA),” which included some of the most memorable and iconic artifacts from the sports brand’s history. Customers around the world were able to get a sneak peek at this carefully curated content. 

Was Nike’s “Seen It All” campaign effective?

The sheer creativity in Nike’s “Seen It All”—from its production quality and fresh storytelling approach to its striking visuals and overall execution—caused quite a buzz when it came out on social media.

With the “Seen It All” short film spearheading the sports brand’s 50th-anniversary campaign, the subsequent marketing efforts to expand the brand’s presence that year, including social media engagements, live events, print ads, AR activations, etc., also became successful.

Here are some results of Nike’s 50th-anniversary campaign: 

  • The campaign garnered an impressive 451 million social media engagements after its release in May 2022.
  • According to WPP (an advertising company), the campaign achieved a social reach that was 400% higher than the industry average.
  • WPP also stated that the campaign contributed to an 18% increase in revenue in Nike’s mobile platforms and drove USD 4.8 billion in digital growth for Nike for Q2 2022.
  • The background song in the “Seen It All” short film went viral on TikTok and reached the number one spot on the list of top trending TikTok songs. 
  • Nearly 7 million people visited Nike’s metaverse store throughout the campaign period to check out the short film and content of the DNA. 
  • The campaign won the D&AD Awards’ 2023 TV/VOD Commercials Over 120 Seconds Wood Pencil.

The campaign made quite a splash in the media, getting attention from top publications like The Guardian, Yahoo, Bloomberg, and even The New York Times, which ran a piece titled, “How Nike Won The Cultural Marathon. As the brand turns 50, it’s not letting up.”

The campaign made quite a splash in the media, getting attention from top publications like The Guardian, Yahoo, Bloomberg, and even The New York Times, which ran a piece titled, “How Nike Won The Cultural Marathon. As the brand turns 50, it’s not letting up.”

Clearly, these results indicate that Nike once again hit the mark by embracing diversity and inclusion in its 50th anniversary campaign. By showcasing a diverse array of athletes in its ad, Nike mirrored the colorful tapestry of sports in the real world. 

Way to go, Nike!


A key takeaway from Nike’s digital guerrilla marketing strategy is the ad’s ability to evoke a range of emotions. The “Seen It All” video tapped into universal feelings of nostalgia, hope, success, and inspiration. 

Moreover, the feature of well-known sporting icons is a great pull, leaving lots of room for high social engagement. The DNA content also adds a feeling of exclusivity that sports and Nike fans love, acting as a reward to those who are loyal to the brand. 

We hope you enjoyed reading today’s article! 

In marketing, it is crucial to recognize the importance of emotional engagement as it can influence consumer behavior. In this case, Nike’s ad served as a reminder that emotions play a pivotal role in driving customer actions, whether through making a purchase or aligning with a brand’s mission.

Stay tuned for next week’s “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!” 

It’s your turn to think outside the box and witness positive marketing results for your brand that “you ain’t seen yet.” 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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