Nike Sells Confidence and Strength—And Also Shoes

Nike Ad Campaigns

Nike doesn’t just sell shoes. Nike sells courage and success. Nike is known for producing campaigns that empower viewers to strap on a pair of Nike sneaks, go outside, and take on the world.

The One that Started It All

In 1988, Nike launched the first Just Do It campaign, setting the stage for the company’s modern-day brand. The campaign features 70-year-old Walt Stack running a stretch of his daily 17-mile run in a pair of white Nike Airs. From this commercial onward, Nike’s ad campaigns have held a similar strain of confidence and inspiration first reflected in Walt Stack’s rhythmic steps.

Taking a Stand

A few years later in 1995, Nike took a stand against gender inequality in school sports with its If You Let Me Play Sports campaign. Nike’s campaign urges viewers to support the Title IX legislation enforcing gender equality in federally funded educational programs using its signature tone of courage and determination. Nike’s campaign was paramount in stimulating active support for the Title IX legislation and shifting national opinion about female participation in sports programs.

Empowering Everyone

In 2012, Nike launched the Find Your Greatness campaign to coincide with the London Winter Olympics. Arguably, the most famous ad in the campaign was a TV spot featuring an overweight middle-schooler, slowly running uphill to the calm voice of a narrator. In contrast with the super-athletes competing in the Olympics, “Find Your Greatness” emphasizes the common greatness lying dormant within everyone, if only he or she works for it.

Nike’s Latest

Nike’s latest campaign entitled “Better for It”, smartly speaks to the oft diminished psyche of girls and women. In a series of print ads, TV spots, and long form videos, the campaign gives funny-but-true insights into the thoughts women have while working out. Nike’s witty portrayal of women at the gym validates women’s apprehensions about exercise while still encouraging them to keep working towards their goals.

From 1988 to 2015, Nike has been enabling everyone—old and young, boys and girls—to find success within themselves, and of course with a pair of Nikes on their feet.


News Never Stops for the Editor-in-Chief

Brittany Jackson - Editor in Chief

As editor-in-chief of the Optimist, Brittany Jackson is always organizing, reporting, and editing. Whether it’s on-the-go from her smartphone or at her computer in the newsroom, Brittany Jackson’s job never seems to stop.

A Face Lift for the Optimist

Over the last few months, Brittany and her team of editors have worked hard to move breaking news to a web interface, and to redesign the print publication in a more reader-friendly format. This shift has allowed editors to have more flexible schedules when writing and editing stories, but Brittany still works tirelessly everyday to ensure everything is always running smoothly.

There’s Always Something

Although the Optimist has shifted its primary focus from print to online, the student publication still provides valuable newsroom experience.

Although Abilene is a little slow, there’s always something we can be reporting, tweeting or instagraming. We have our lulls in the office when we’re scratching our head to come up with story assignments, but there’s always something to be working on in the office.” —Brittany Jackson

Brittany and her staff are always working to publish the most interesting and relevant content possible.

Brittany’s Day Off

Brittany’s free days are few and far between, but if she can find a spare moment, she will likely spend it with her roommates. Whether it’s eating, reading, or binge-watching Netflix, Brittany just likes to be with them.

“They’re my best friends, so it doesn’t really matter what we’re doing so long as we get to spend time with one another.” —Brittany Jackson

If Brittany’s roommates are nowhere to be found, she may be found running through the streets of Abilene. “I’m training for a marathon with a class right now, so I usually wake up before the sun on Saturdays and go for a run. Then I’ll get home and check email, because news never stops,” said Brittany.

Finding Balance

To be the editor-in-chief of the Optimist is to be busy, but Brittany still finds time to spend alone and with close friends. She does her job gracefully, and of course, always with her email close at hand.


5 Lessons from Communication Law You Need to Know


Communication Law is a notoriously difficult course. Many students wonder, “When will I use this information,” but understanding freedom of expression is vital in any sector of the JMC field.

I talked to ACU’s Communication Law professor, Dr. Kenneth Pybus, about the lessons from Communication Law JMC students can use—even after graduation.

  1. Common law is not common sense.

Common law is a term used in Communication Law to describe laws accepted as truth over many years of study. However, many people tend to confuse common law with common sense.

“People think they can just gut-feel their way through the law, as though Judges 21:25 is still the law.” —Dr. Kenneth Pybus

Common law is not a system in which “everyone does as he sees fit” nor is it a loose moral structure—it’s the real law.

  1. Understanding the law is important.

Anyone in communication can libel someone or violate copyright, even accidentally. Reporters, photographers, advertisers, and public relations coordinators must understand the laws and safeguards applied to them as public communicators.

  1. People are inherently free.

They don’t get those freedoms from government or a constitution. People are born with inalienable rights that the U.S. government (and many other governments) work to protect, not to grant.

“Freedom and free speech is the default state of mankind.” —Dr. Kenneth Pybus

As people who knew true oppression, our founding fathers intentionally wrote protections into the U.S. Constitution so future generations would not experience the same censorship and tyranny.

  1. Government cannot arbitrarily restrict freedom.

Governments cannot extinguish a message because it’s contrary or even offensive; it takes much more than that. American media disseminates contradictory ideas on a daily basis. Media professionals need to understand the restrictions of government regulation, and institute more creative ways of combating contrary ideas.

  1. Restrictions have standards.

Whenever there is a restriction on freedom, there has to be some sort of standard. Restrictions must accompany an existing statutory or common law. That means government can’t just say “you can’t say that because we said so.” Authority does not extend that far.

JMC Alumni Shares Valuable Life Hacks for Recent Grads

You’ve completed your coursework, walked the graduation stage, and received your first big kid job, but now what? Determining the next step in forming a fulfilling and meaningful career can be a mystery.

That’s why I’ve asked Asia Eidson (Todd, ’14) to share the knowledge she’s accrued since entering the real world.

From faking it to finding yourself, here are Asia’s life hacks for recent JMC grads.

1) Fake it ‘til you make it.

Asia's Photography Website

“If there’s anything I’ve learned in starting my own business, it’s that you can get pretty far in life by getting in over your head.” —Asia Todd

If you let the things you don’t know get in the way of achieving your goals, you won’t grow. Don’t know how to do something? Google it. Ask for help. Collaborate. Don’t go it alone.

2) Travel.

“They say, ‘Travel is the only expense you can spend that will make you richer.’ You will be a better human for it. Your worldview, compassion, comfort zones, and appreciation for home—it all changes.” —Asia Todd

Your future self will thank you and your future bosses will thank you for having such a well rounded perspective.

3) Feed your brain.

In college your mind is constantly fed new information. When you graduate, it’s up to you to keep your brain fresh. Surround yourself with inspirational material that reminds you of what you want to do.

Some of Asia’s favorite ‘brain foods’ include:

4) You do you.

There are lots of people out there. What sets you apart isn’t necessarily what you can do, but who you are and how you approach your job.

“In this video we made for Photobyjoy, I didn’t focus on what gear I carry or the statistics of our Facebook page. I want my clients to know who I am and how I work because that’s what sticks.” —Asia Todd

Peer-to-Peer Learning in the JMC Department

Collaboration is an integral part of the journalism and mass communication industry. In ACU’s Journalism & Mass Communication department, professors encourage students to collaborate by implementing peer-to-peer learning. This approach to education instills in students valuable leadership and communication skills.

What is peer-to-peer learning?

In a typical classroom, students may sit in rows of desks and listen to a professor speak in lofty vernacular about any given topic. In classrooms implementing peer-to-peer learning, students teach their own peers about practical topics. At ACU, peer-to-peer learning takes form in required labs taught by upperclassmen, which accompany traditional lecture courses taught by ACU faculty. In the JMC department, students teach a variety of labs, including:

  • Communication Design
  • Writing for Electronic Delivery
  • Introduction to Visual Media

What does peer-to-peer learning really look like?

Upperclassmen (called Teaching Assistants, or TAs, in the classroom) provide unique insight for younger students while teaching labs. Many TAs have completed the same coursework they are teaching, so they can communicate insights a professor may not think to teach.

For example, the final project in Communication Design, formerly known as Publication Design, requires each student to create a mock-up of a magazine in Adobe InDesign on a topic of his or her choosing. Many students enrolled in Communication Design have never used InDesign before. However, through peer-to-peer learning, students can fluently navigate InDesign and create a portfolio-worthy product by the end of the semester.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

TA, Logan Sartain providing written feedback on an assignment in the Writing for Electronic Delivery lab.

Why is peer-to-peer learning valuable?

From both the teaching and learning ends of peer-to-peer learning, students acquire skills required for professionals world of journalism and mass communication. Students become more valuable in the workforce when they are accustomed to collaboration with peers and are open to learning on the job. The JMC department is doing its part to prepare students for success in the journalism and mass communication industry.