Friday, April 4, 2008

How do you like your sports advertisements?

With less than three weeks to go, Boston is in the grips of Marathon Fever yet again— and the advertisements throughout the city prove it. I'm not running the marathon, but I do love distance running at this time of year, mainly because the weather is gorgeous and the yearly Adidas poster campaign keeps me motivated every time I go past an inspirational billboard. Unfortunately, my camera was out of battery when I tried to take a photo in the Copley subway station this morning, but these ads from previous years give you the idea: every one has an image and a corresponding "Reason to Run" scribbled upon a marathon bib. Somewhat generic format? Maybe... but I need to say, it is still one of my favorite running campaigns. The best I saw today read: "The crowd screams louder than my legs."

Now, on the flip side you have last year's Reebok running campaign. The tag line, "Run Easy," took a very different approach, and I'm just going to come out and say it: I hated it. Design wise, maybe the distressed type was more interesting than the Adidas approach, but I don't think it is a smart move for any serious sports company to take this route. The middle ad above specifically targets Nike's "Just Do It" tag, beloved by runners everywhere. Does Reebok really want to set themselves apart by being the choice for the non-competitive athlete? I'm not particularly fast or competitive, but even I was turned off by this! However, I know many people liked the ads, and I can see why— not everyone wants to kill themselves for a sport, and this is more welcoming to the casual athlete. But at the same time there is something amazing about what competitive marathoners do that certainly wins my respect, and I don't like seeing Reebok downplay that. How do you feel about this semi-controversial campaign?

Finally, an interesting commercial just released by New Balance. I saw it on TV the other night and loved it— it follows a more tried and true "Nike-like" approach, and the basic premise is something almost any runner can relate to. So the question is: How do you like your sports advertisements?

1 comment:

Meghan B said...

I love that new-balance ad, but I wish they had someone else narrate it.
I think Nike is untouchable when it comes to athletics commercials (and no, that isn't just my brand loyalty talking!)Favorite Nike commercial of all time:
Unlike you, tess, I love those Reebok Ads! I HATE the typography, but I love the "run easy" line. I think it appeals to a lot of people who are in town for the marathon- people are AREN'T marathon runners! It doesn't make we want to buy Reebok though, they are going to have to change the design of their shoes for that...