It didn’t start with Michael Jordan flying or even vintage footage of Steve Prefontaine taking a jog. The first Nike commercial that used the famous Just Do It tagline didn’t run until 1988. And instead of an athlete in his prime it featured an 80-year-old man named Walt Stack. Shirtless and moving at a pretty good clip, Stack runs across the majestic Golden Gate Bridge–and tells how he logs 17 miles every morning.
Then Stack, still on the run, tells a joke about his teeth. Campaign magazine called Just Do It “arguably the best tagline of the 20th century.” The commercial doesn’t even mention that Stack, a fitness legend, took a long bike ride before his run and a one-mile swim in the San Francisco Bay after. He died in 1995. You can guess what he told the Grim Reaper.