Case Study: How Nike Used YouTube Influencers To Promote Its VaporMax Release

In this case study, we go over how using mega influencers can be a great way to promote a new product release, even if you’re already one of the biggest brands in the world.

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Most of our case studies tend to be about brands using influencers to drive sales, since that’s always at the top of everyone’s mind. But what if you’re an already established brand with a robust marketing system in place? What if additional spend won’t really move the needle on sales on a direct basis? That’s where campaigns around awareness come into play. Even if you’re an established brand with millions of followers, you can still run an awareness campaign around a product release. In this influencer marketing case study, we talk about how one of the largest brands in the world, Nike, used an influencer to drive millions of views and build awareness for its Vapormax release.

The Approach

Instead of running a blitz campaign across several influencers, like we see most brands do, Nike decided to work with just 1 large account – What’s Inside – on YouTube. The father and son duo have racked up over 7 million subscribers over the years by, you guessed it, cutting things up and showing their viewers what’s inside them. Their primary video from the campaign features them giving an overview on some of Nike’s previous shoes, how they’re made, leading into the work that went into producing the upcoming VaporMax, before ultimately taking it apart and seeing what’s inside. In addition to that, the influencers in question actually made a whole series of videos documenting the entire experience from their flight to the factory visit and everything in between, ultimately yielding a playlist of Nike themed videos.

The Outcomes

The influencer campaign was a smashing success, as you could have expected. The main video received over 7 million views at the time of this article being published! Add in the views from the rest of the playlist and Nike was able to gain over 10 million views from just 1 influencer collaboration. Safe to say that will hype up any product release!

How You Can Replicate Their Strategy

Normally, we don’t like putting all our eggs in one basket. That’s exactly why you’ve seen us preach about using several smaller influencers at the same time, rather than using just one large influencer for a promotion. That said, if you’re a larger brand like Nike with the means to use the biggest and best influencers, then replicating their strategy is pretty straightforward.

The keys to focus on here are size and platform when optimizing around awareness. While smaller influencers are better suited to sales campaigns, larger influencers thrive when running awareness campaigns – stick to macro influencers at the minimum, and mega influencers if your budget allows for them. The platform you choose will greatly affect your results too. If you’re running an entertaining campaign, try TikTok. If you want to go informational, just like Nike did, try YouTube. If you want a balance of both, Instagram is your best bet.

When your campaigns are all complete, make sure to boost them using paid social. Like we’ve talked about many times in our YouTube videos and other blog posts, awareness campaigns are all about building a wide funnel. Once that initial funnel is built using influencers, paid social will allow you to retarget those viewers in any manner you see fit, while changing your optimizations, allowing you to convert those impressions into sales or followers down the road.

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