For Nike #Hashtags are the new Website

Yesterday I spotted this big billboard ad at Sergels Torg in central Stockholm. I didn't care too much for the very dynamic, almost computer-game-like graphic design of the soccer players because another, smaller but far more striking detail caught my attention.

This is the first billboard ad I've ever seen, that is not trying to point viewers to a specific website or landing page. Instead it only features the Hashtag #makeitcount.

This little detail is in fact a paradigm change in branding & marketing in the age of the social & mobile web. By using the hashtag only, Nike shows that it understands a couple of important things, that most brands haven't:

      1. People sure know where to find Nike's websites or profiles - if they feel the urge to visit
      2. Nike's brand, it's products and its contribution to an active lifestyle is part of a global conversation
      3. That conversation is happening all over the social web, not on a specific website or social media service
      4. Nike knows that this conversation is more interesting than its own marketing messages
      5. So, rather than trying to move or pool the conversation to a specific site - Nike simply provides the hashtag #makeitcount that helps people to connect to the conversation and to participate
      6. Nike's brand is a conversation

It is furthermore interesting to see how Nike uses the hashtag #makeitcount as an overall discussion guide across its full range of products and activities. Just watch the fantastic interactive Video below to see what I mean. From Nike's Fuel Band to their soccer shoe product line to their eco friendly line better world - all gets nicely integrated. And by making it a completely interactive video, the viewer actually feels in control. I'm not watching this. I'm navigating, I'm a part of the conversation.


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