#JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter

#JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter
By Jacky Au Duong - 2014

Nike’s “Possibilities” campaign has become a prime example for social media adoption in marketing. In August 2013, Nike had asked its consumers to redefine “Just Do It” by taking to Twitter and sharing their athletic achievements under the #JustDoIt hashtag. The iconic slogan has since then evolved from a mere promotional message to a trending Twitter topic that continues to engage consumers today. By examining Nike’s #JustDoIt Twitter conversation, marketing professionals and scholars alike can develop a more informed understanding of how Twitter facilitates interaction between a brand and its consumers. The paper aims to explore how Twitter can be used to develop and maintain relationships between businesses and consumers by examining the interactions within Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation. Using Bakhtin’s (1981) notion of heteroglossia and Zappavigna’s (2011) interpretation of the imagined audience and ambient affiliation, this paper will conceptualize the interactions that took place and demonstrate their applications to the practice of social business (Rajagopal, 2013) and Integrated Marketing Communication (Kapoor, Jayasimha, and Sadh, 2013). The research questions are:

(1)   How does #JustDoIt facilitate interaction between Nike and its consumers?

(2)   What are Twitter users saying in Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation?

(3)   To what ends does #JustDoIt serve in Nike’s overall mission?

Heteroglossia, the imagined audience, and ambient affiliation are all concepts that can be used to describe user interactions within Twitter hashtags. For businesses, these terms provide a framework for betternderstanding how branded content can reach audiences on Twitter, thus informing strategies that seek to engage consumers and spark conversations.