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Dan Wieden, Creator Of “Just Do It,” Passes Away At 77

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Dan Wieden
Dan Wieden

Nike’s marketing brilliance has been well studied by students and experts in the field for decades with iconic campaigns even winning Emmys like the Colin Kaepernick-led “Dream Crazy.” Behind the scenes, the Portland, Oregon-based ad agency Wieden + Kennedy helped create this campaign as well as arguably the most famous tagline of all time, “Just Do It.” The man behind that phrase and one-half of the agency, Dan Wieden, unfortunately, passed away on September 30th, 2022.

Hailing from a family that was in the advertising industry, Wieden’s talent for marketing began as soon as he left college when he worked for Georgia-Pacific and McCann-Erickson, the latter of which was where he met the second half of Wieden + Kennedy, David Kennedy. Both men moved companies together in 1981 and began working under the Nike account, eventually taking it with them once they founded their eponymous agency.

1988 was the year the infamous tagline “Just Do It” was created, becoming one of the most recognizable mottos in history. Since then, the agency has worked hand-in-hand with Nike on many of their campaigns, even to this day. On top of their work with The Swoosh, Wieden + Kennedy has clients including Corona, McDonald’s, ESPN, Facebook, and many more.

In a statement from the agency via its Instagram, “We are heartbroken. But even more so, we are overcome with gratitude and love. Thank you Dan, for throwing the doors wide open for people to live up to their full potential. Thank you for your steadfastness, courage, faith and abiding love. Thank you for making this beautiful creative life possible. We will miss you so much.”

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