Tuesday Olympics Ad Rip-Off: Nike vs. Saucony

By Bob Marshall 

The 2012 Olympics have brought us a wide range of ads, from the unbearably corny to the actually kind of inspirational. But, if you have to name one campaign that’s been killing it with their Olympics spots, look no further than Nike and W+K’s “Find Your Greatness” campaign, which has been ruling the viral video charts despite no direct mention of the Olympics at all.

As Ad Age notes, Nike and “Find Your Greatness” are absolutely dominating Adidas and Sid Lee’s “Take the Stage” campaign, even though Adidas plopped down an extra £100 million to be considered an “official” Olympic partner. Ad Age compares Nike’s buzz-stealing tactics to its brilliant “Write the Future” campaign during the 2010 World Cup, where again Nike bested Adidas’ “official” sponsorship. But, is “Find Your Greatness” reminiscent of another campaign that, uh oh, isn’t Nike’s at all?


Last spring, Nike’s comparatively much smaller athletic apparel competitor Saucony debuted its “Find Your Strong” campaign from Mechanica Boston. From the direction to the narration copy to, most noticeably, the campaign’s tagline, “Find Your Greatness” looks an awful like the year-old work for Saucony. This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by some in sports media, as ESPN reporter Darren Rovell compared the two campaigns on Twitter yesterday. Even Saucony, who’s still using “Find Your Strong” as its taking, is asking its Twitter followers what they think about Nike’s new campaign.

What say you, dear readers? Are Nike and W+K guilty of an ad rip-off? Or, did Nike surpass all comparison by using that adorable kid jumping off the high-dive? After the jump you’ll see that the campaigns’ similarities exist even outside of TV.