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General Running • August 29, 2012

Is Nike Running Ripping Off Saucony Running?

When I saw this I was pretty shocked. Nike has some of the best marketing in the world. Why are they copying Saucony lately? This image is just one instance. Take Saucony’s slogan since last Fall “Find your strong” This summer Nike launched “Find your greatness”

What do you think? Do you think the mighty Nike is ripping off Saucony?


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. David H. says:

    I work in the adverstising industry and while there may be some ripping off taking place, I think it's very possible that these campaigns just happen to be very similar. I'm sure that Nike was planning something since last winter to launch something this summer with a slogan, but Saucony beat them. They then just chose different words. Same goes with the shoe ad — there's probably a room with 10 different concepts. 
    I've also been part of conversations in a previous position where the president of the company told our marketing team to "Rip it off and duplicate." 
    At the end of the day, copying in the industry is taken as flattery. 

    1. I hear you David, I to am in the biz too. This to me seems way too spot on to be coincidence. “Find your strong” “Find your greatness.” Even if Saucony beat them to the punch Nike has the ability to go a different direction. We are not talking small agency budget. These guys can roll out a new campaign quickly. Don’t you think?

  2. Jenny J says:

    You know where my loyalty lies…Luff me some Saucony, so skewed or not, my opinion is that Nike swiped the idea.  REIGN ON, KINVARA!!!

  3. Rebecca says:

    We should consider the fact that the two companies have very different customers.  One is geared toward runners, the other well, not so much.  So perhaps Nike thought that no one would notice the uncanny resemblance between the two ad campaigns.

  4. David H. says:

    I'm curious as to who the agencies are putting out the campaigns. Could be some last minute changes. Either way, I kind of see Saucony coming out as the good guy in all this. While I wear Saucony, I've seen more people talking about them because of Nike "ripping them off." Nike is a giant that won't ever fall, but it does show them as not having original ideas (whether that's true or not). 

  5. Fians4k says:

    And they're ripping off ASICS too. The "Find your greatness" series of ads focused on single sports (or experiences) is almost a direct copy of the much more elaborated campaign by ASICS called "Made of sport".
    Not exactly equal, but awfully similar:

  6. Kevin Schell says:

    Neither Saucony or Nike are responsible for the concept of putting shoes in a circle, taking a photograph and putting it in magazines or on the web.
    It's happened many times prior to this year.

  7. To Rebecca's comment – Nike not geared towards runners – really?  Yes, they have a broader customer base, but they are still the leading running shoe manufacturer by a wide margin – if you stripped it down to "runners only" instead of those who buy for everyday use, it would still far outpace Saucony.  Whose yellow shoes lit up the Olympics?
    Now I'm a Nike customer but also wear Kinvara's, my loyalties will go wherever the best shoes happen to be at the time.  I don't know if this is a "rip-off" or not.  My comment is that Saucony is far better at actually putting the darn colors in their shoes in appealing combinations.  I have grown frustrated with Nike's garish combos of late, specifically in their Lunarfly – it seems like each pair I buy is worse than the previous.  I don't know if they are trying to match the total number of colors Saucony has but in fewer actual shoes per model?  The Kinvara 3's I just started using in blue and gold are by far the most striking running shoes I've owned to date.  And yes, part of why I'm going to use them more and the Lunarfly's less is because of the color.  You need to look the part, you know?

  8. lindsay says:

    You also have to consider the subconscious level – I see it all the time as an editor. People read things to research and then I find similiar wording in their articles. They don't do it on purpose; it's a subconscious mimicking. Now you could argue that marketing departments have lots of people to check against this kind of thing and a whole ad campaign wouldn't go out without someone noticing similarities to competitors, so I'd give you that. But it's not an uncommon occurance with individuals.

  9. I think ripping off is a little harsh. Like the commenter said above, they're certainly not the first two companies with the idea to put some shoes in a circle. Regarding the whole "find your strong" "find your greatness" slogans… It just kind of makes me think of how there always seems to be 2 similar movies out at the same time. It's not necessarily copying but it's an idea that everyone heard and all thought it would be big. 

  10. Xero de Montaigne says:

    Here’s you’re problem… Look at this “Nike” video. Watch at 1:20… a guy is on the starting block wearing… wait for it… Saucony shoes… fast forward to 3:10… place slogan, and put up… wait for it… Nike swoosh. Saucony & Nike are probably owned by the same people these days, and are just cross-promoting, not copying!

    1. This isn’t a Nike Commercial. It is a mash up of many videos including footage from several manufacturers.

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