Why Nike’s Motivational Ad Still Resonates Today

The “No Excuses” Nike spot starring then University of Wisconsin-Whitewater wheelchair basketball player, Matt Scott offers classic inspiration.

In 2007, Errol Morris shot the “No Excuses” Nike spot starring then University of Wisconsin-Whitewater wheelchair basketball player, Matt Scott. Airing on New Year’s Eve of that year, viewers see Scott rattling off a list of common excuses people use for not actively engaging in sports. Why does this motivational ad still resonate today?

Not until the end does Scott share his own personal excuse, sending a strong, universal message: “If this man can do it, why can’t you?” The powerful ad instantly takes Nike’s three word slogan to heart and makes for a motivational kick in the butt everyone can use daily, regardless of the fact it was produced over three years ago. Its intentions: ‘Change does not always occur instantly but taking action is a good first step, ‘ and as one commenter on YouTube suggests:

“I know people are gonna go ‘whoa… my excuses are pathetic’ and most of them will post a comment like “i’m going to change my life because of this” but they won’t. Inspiration may start on the outside, but it has to come from inside eventually, that’s where the change happens. So to you people I hope you take what you say to heart and actually change, instead of just saying it.”



Matt Scott

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