Nike’s Air Max Advertisement: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

Subject: Media
Type: Admission Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1700
Topics: Advertising, Marketing


Advertisement refers to the process, through which organizations can communicate any product or service related information to the targeted group of customers (Hassan 608). With increasing rate of competition, organizations are facing challenges in positioning their products from their competitors. Innovative designing of various advertisements have allowed the companies to share necessary product and service related information among the targeted audience. However, each organization is aiming to use all the available advertising mediums to communicate necessary information. Availability of so many advertisements has often failed to grab the attention of the customers. It is essential for the companies to opt for rhetoric approach to create the desired impact on the market. The study will elaborate Nike’s advertisement strategy to promote its air max shoes. It will describe the segmentation, targeting and positioning objective of air max advertisement campaign. 

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Description about Nike’s air max advertisement

Nike, as one of the prime sporting equipment manufacturer, has used various innovative advertisement and promotional campaigns to generate greater level of profit. Advertisement campaigns like ‘Equality’ and ‘Just do it’ have achieved immense popularity across the global market (Madalena “Just Do It- The Nike Way”). Nike offers products like shoes, jerseys, shorts, socks and other sporting equipment as per the need of the athletes. The product offerings of the company also include street fashion accessories that maintained the interest of the customers continuously.

Nike launched its first air max line of shoes during the year of 1987 (Woolf, Nike Brought Back the OG Air Max 1). The organization has used air technology to provide large air cushioning at the heels so that athletes can move freely. With technological advancement, the organization has offered many upgrades to improve the quality of the product. Each advertisement of Nike’s air max shoes has concentrated on highlighting the level of comfort it can provide to an athlete. The advertisement launched for Air Max 2017 has illustrated similar attributes with the captions like “Go lighter, Go longer”. The unique product features along with the use of attractive graphic design has enabled the company to achieve immense success across the global market. However, the brand Air Maxis facing immense competition from Adidas Boost, as it is providing considerable amount of support for the runners and other athletes. Adoption of space-age technology, poaching designers and superstar endorsements has allowed Adidas to grab the attention of the global customers. 

Segmentation process of Nike’s air max advertisement

Air Max brand of Nike uses extremely advance tools and technologies to deliver shoes of the highest quality. The objective of Air Max shoes is to reduce the stress on the heels for runners and other athletes so that they can stay away from any injury. Demographic segmentation refers to the way companies segregate the entire market based on sex, career, gender, age and income. With Air Max product line, Nike has offered air technology based shoes for both men and women. However, adoption of such advance technology has increased the cost of the shoes relatively. Therefore, the advertisement of the product has always emphasized on the quality and technology rather than price and discounts. It clearly indicates that the company has opted to use demographic segmentation technique to divide the entire market based on the purchasing power. Similarly, as a sporting equipment manufacturer, Nike has aimed to segregate the entire market based on the age and interest as well. 

Psychographic segmentation divides the entire market based on the differences in personality trait, lifestyle, interest, values and customers (Hassan and Stephen 348). The Air Max line of shoes is delivered all across the world. Therefore, the advertisement of Air Max 2017 has highlighted the air-based technology that has been used to manufacture products as per the needs of the customers. Moreover, Nike has consciously included unique design and colorful styles so that it can easily mix with the modern audacious lifestyle. Along with innovative design, the advertisement has highlighted quality and durability aspect to fulfill all the psychological needs of the customers. The advertisement of Air Max products has used three behavioral segmentation techniques including utility based, style based and technology based. With the use of advance graphics, Nike has tried to emphasize its technology and style aspect. On the other hand, use of catchy taglines along with the use of Nike’s brand value supported the company to divide the market as per utility requirements.

Targeting strategy of Nike’s air max advertisement

Targeting refers to the selection of specific section from the entire market (Hassan and Stephen 352). Appropriate use of targeting can enable the companies to maximize the impact of any particular promotional strategy. The elaboration of demographic segmentation has illustrated that Nike segregated the entire market into different categories as per age, gender and income. Air Max brand has offered shoes for both males and females. In indicates the fact that the company has targeted both the genders to maximize the profit level as much as possible. In order to cover the needs of both the genders, Nike has used lightweight leather and soft texture at the time of manufacturing shoes. On the other hand, Nike has primarily targeted youth between the age group 15 to 28 years with the launch of advertisement campaign. However, it has besieged old age people also with the promotion of Air Max shoes. Many elderly people face health issues like feet pain or heel pain that restricts their free movement considerably (Martin A26). However, extra protection in the heel area has reduced the pain of them considerably. Therefore, the advertisement has focused on highlighting all the key features of the shoes so that people across generations can recognize its utility aspect. Nike has opted to use extremely high pricing strategy for the Air Max shoe products. It has induced the company to target people with relatively high-income level for achieving success within the market.

Athletes always try to protect themselves from any type of injury during playing matches or practice sessions. The advertisement of Air Max has focused on providing detailed information regarding the way offered products can protect the heel of the athletes. As a result, it has induced the athletes to develop positive psychological attitude towards the product. Nowadays, people use various sporting equipment like shoes, watches and shorts in their regular life (Scheerder, Steven and Marijke 267). In fact, offering of fashionable Air Max shoes has grabbed the attention of the common people. The technology used in the Air Max shoes has allowed people to walk or run smoothly. The advertisement has consciously focused on highlighting all the key features along with the design of the Air Max shoes so that it can generate an impact among the non-athlete people as well.

Positioning strategy of Nike’s air max advertisement

Positioning reflects the place that a specific brand occupies within the mind of the customers (Dou, et al. 271). Development of favorable position within the customer’s mind can enable the organizations to improve the sales volume considerably. With every advertisement campaign, Nike has focused on creating separate position within the mind of the customers. Currently, Nike has been arguably the most popular name in the sport shoes manufacturing sector for many years. Therefore, the brand often first came across the mind of the people at the time of purchasing any sports shoe. However, Air Max shoes have taken the concept of sports shoes to a different level. The use of air technology has supported the company to protect athletes from occurring any massive injury. In addition, the use of lightweight leather has improved the comfort level of the people significantly. Therefore, Nike has highlighted all the key advance technologies used to manufacture Air Max shoes through the advertisements. They have positioned themselves to be an extremely advanced technology based ones within the mind of the customers. It has induced people to perceive that all the products offered by the company are of the highest quality. 

At the same time, the adoption of high-pricing strategy has influenced people to consider such Air Max as a luxury brand. High pricing has restricted customers with low or medium income level people to purchase shoes from Air Max product line. Such positioning has automatically eliminated many people from within their prime target section. Traditionally, old age people cannot relate themselves with the sporting brands (Amatulli, Gianluigi and Rajan 1947). However, Nike’s strategy of delivering accurate key information related to the product feature has encouraged many elderly persons to use Air Max line shoes. Thus, it has enabled the company to enhance its potential target market with the inclusion of Air Max brand. The advertisement has illustrated that using Air Max shoes can increase the walking or running capability of an individual, as they would feel lesser pain in the heels. As a result, it has allowed the company to position itself as the first choice shoe brand for the people suffering with heel pain or joint pain. Such benefits have induced many people to opt for Air Max shoes in spite of the company’s high pricing structure. 

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Nike has always focused on providing innovative products and services to achieve continuous success across the global market. Delivery of uniquely designed products has allowed it to make immediate impact upon the global market. In addition, the company has also conducted various new and innovative promotional campaigns to ensure competitive advantage in the market. Each advertisement of Nike has aimed to grab the attention of the customers so that the brand can create a separate position for itself. With the introduction of Air Max product line, Nike has focused on providing completely new footwear experience for the users. The inclusion of air-based technology with lightweight leather has improved the comfort level of the users considerably. Therefore, the advertisement of Air Max shoes has focused on highlighting all the key features, which in turn allowed the company to perform segmentation, targeting and positioning activities. To conclude, it had to be mentioned that adopted advertising strategy for Air Max brand has supported the company to create impact within the desired section of the market.

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  5. Madalena, Jenna “Just Do It- The Nike Way”. Medium. Accessed 5 February 2018. 
  6. Martin, Robroy L., et al. “Heel pain—plantar fasciitis: revision 2014.” Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, vol. 44, no. 11, 2014, pp. A1-A33.
  7. “Nike Air Max 2017” YouTube, uploaded by Hamid Fathi, 26 November 2016,
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  9. Woolf, Jake, “Nike Brought Back the OG Air Max 1”, GQ,, Accessed 5 February 2018.
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