3 Simple Things Michael Jordan’s Return Can Teach Facebook Marketers


On March 18, 1995 Michael Jordan shocked the world when he faxed the simple and effective press release: “I’m back.” This went viral, before viral was a thing, and perfectly got the message across that he was setting down his baseball bat and rejoining the NBA. The success and simplicity of “I’m back” is an amazing example of getting your marketing message across in a clear and concise manner. 




Here are 3 principles I see exemplified by MJ’s message that Facebook Marketers can learn to use…

1. Be Clear

MJ’s message is as clear as it gets — he is rejoining the NBA. Notice how he doesn’t use any fluff. Especially on Facebook, attention is at a premium as users scroll through their newsfeeds in search of the next piece of information that will catch their eyes.

While we may know that we need to do things like address customer pain points, solve problems, and connect with our audience in our ads, we can fall into a trap of taking too much time to actually do it on a platform that is flush with options for a users attention to be drawn to.

This does not mean your ad copy has to be short. But you need to take into consideration that people are not using Facebook to search for your products. Therefore, you don’t want there to be any mistake about what you’re talking about.

2. Be Concise

MJ’s message was brief, but comprehensive — it only took two words. Notice how he doesn’t use any unnecessary words. Do your best to deliver your most effective message directly, then shut up. Communicate as quickly as possible what the value you’re offering is and hit them with a call to action. Use simple action verbs and phrases based on where they are in your marketing funnel…

  • Top of the funnel CTAs
    • Learn more about ____ 
    • Discover our ____
    • Download our guide
  • Bottom of the funnel CTAs
    • Get 50% off  ____  now
    • Start a free trial today
    • Request a personalized demo

3. Measure Success 

MJ’s message was a massive success — it was heard and shared around the world. If he wrote a press release that didn’t communicate his clear return to basketball, I’m convinced he would have had to write another one that did. Notice how people (like me) are still talking about it 25 years later. 

As Facebook marketers, we have something that MJ didn’t have when he returned to the NBA — the ability to test and optimize based on data, and we need to use this to our advantage. By testing creative, tracking proper data, and optimizing, you can be sure you are maximizing your chance of success.

3 simple things

It only makes sense that a player considered by many to be the greatest of all time would also (in my opinion) write one of the greatest press releases of all time. Keeping it simple may seem easy, but often it is not. Being clear, concise, and measuring success are underrated virtues in marketing.