Reebok continually try’s to transform its message, and perhaps to often, thus confusing its audience as to who and what they are. Their latest campaign Be More Human takes another new look at connecting with their consumers thru empowerment towards health and fitness.
If you look over their history they have had several awesome marketing programs that have connected with their audience, but then have followed it with disjointed and non-connected strategies there after. I think the concept of this ad is really intriguing and interesting, but to many the concept is going to reflect more on a CrossFit training course than Reebok. The question needs to be asked who is Reebok’s Consumer? How big is each audience (sports, fun, casual, basketball, cross fit, health and fitness, and their women’s market)? Does our message connect with our consumers across all channels and categories? I personally question whether it does. Check out the commercial below and voice your own opinion. They truly have the research, agency, and brand consultants supporting their moves, but sometimes you just need to stop and listen to those who buy your products to learn what really connects with their brand.
SPORTSMONEY 9,881 views
Reebok Reveals Massive ‘Be More Human’ Brand Campaign
Starting today, Reebok International Ltd. will put into place its biggest marketing campaign in over a decade. The “Be More Human” brand campaign is massive because of the quantifiable exorbitant ad spend, as well as the significance attached to the novel campaign by Reebok executives who believe that it finally reintroduces the consumer to the Reebok brand. It takes a brand that has at times found itself lost without a real identity, desperately trying to compete alongside Nike, and reveals that it has finally found itself in the global fitness category with a clear mission to change how people perceive and experience physical activity.
“Be More Human” is being referred to as Reebok’s rally cry to consumers, urging them to live up to their full potential. It is the culmination of Reebok’s re-branding campaign that started roughly five years ago and includes the creation of a new symbol (the Reebok Delta), strategic partnerships with vigorous events (i.e. Spartan Race) and combat sport athletes (i.e. Jon Jonesand Johny Hendricks) as well as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and new footwear and apparel that caters to the fitness fanatic. A major part of Reebok’s recent growth is a commitment to CrossFit, which has catered to a massive number of fitness oriented individuals. Fortunately for Reebok, there is an emerging base of consumers for the type of tough fitness mentality that Reebok has re-focused on persuading.
“Consumers have known us for other things throughout the years,” said Reebok President Matt O’Toole. ”We are slowly and surely reintroducing them to Reebok. A lot of it is traced to when we decided to return Reebok to its fitness roots about five years ago. Reebok started in early ’80s in its modern form as a fitness brand that was giving woman, in particular, the incentive to sweat and workout. Our view is this version of fitness that we are part of today is similar in a lot of ways. Fitness is much more experiential.”
O’Toole credits Reebok’s seven straight quarters of growth to making some tough decisions to exit a number of team sports activities and leave behind certain important businesses for Reebok in exchange for a real re-focusing effort. He admits that he sometimes forgets about the magnitude of his company’s transformation . . . from a company that lost its identity to where it is now, which is an apparel and footwear company excited about promoting life experiences.
“There have been times in Reebok’s history where Reebok’s been brilliantly innovative,” added O’Toole, referencing the launch of the “Pump” sneaker line as an example. ”There have also been unproductive times when Reebok wasn’t pursuing its own agenda, but rather trying to chase its competitor. That’s what we want to avoid. We want to blaze our own trail. We are finding this white space and really being disruptive. I don’t think there’s anything more fresh in the world of athletics than this tough fitness phenomenon.”
O’Toole and his team also looked at the blossoming of a demographic interested in non-typical sports. They saw a high percentage of consumers using combat sports to stay fit. According to O’Toole, roughly 35 million people around the world are engaging in combat sports, which led Reebok to start a conversation with Ultimate Fighting Championship a couple of years ago that eventually turned into a partnership with UFC in the recent past.
“Everything we are building now is built with the purpose of these individual activities,” said O’Toole. ”We are delivering the right products for these activities that quite frankly our competitors haven’t taken the time to understand and build the right products for. If you look back at Reebok over the last 30 years, I think this message of ‘Be More Human’ is quite different. We are not encouraging people to just run faster for the sake of being faster. We are saying that ultimately you will be able to enjoy life if you take the time to cater to your own humanity.”
That tough fitness phenomenon bleeds through Reebok’s new “Be More Human” brand campaign. It promotes the idea that there is a better life worth living in this world full of more aggressive fitness and a real need that everyone needs to be more human and more physical. It is about peoples’ ability to tackle life’s toughest challenges and demonstrating the individual’s ability to transform during the most rigorous of circumstances. It is an experience that Reebok knows a bit about, as a brand that once found itself floundering among tough competitors, but now has found its identity in a world fascinated by the latest and greatest fitness footwear, apparel and equipment.
Darren Heitner is a lawyer and the Founder of South Florida-based HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C., which has a focus on Sports Law and Entertainment Law.
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