ASICS was founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka in the hopes of raising post-war youth self-esteem through athletics. His motto was, “If you fail, keep going until you succeed.” The brand name, ASICS, is an acronym that stands for Anima Sana in Corpore Sano or A Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body. Onitsuka Tiger is its fashionable sibling.
ASICs has a lot going for it. It just happens to have chosen to compete in a game full of powerful rivals.
180 Amsterdam has launched the campaign that aims to push ASICS to the front of the pack. The global campaign is built around the call, It’s a big world. Go run it, designed to inspire all sportspeople to challenge their boundaries, explore new territories and discover the huge variety of ways to run. The 60 second launch TVC gives them experience of doing that.
And that’s where the real cleverness of this campaign comes in. Yes, the ad will air during headline sports events around the world, with a 90 second online version supporting it and print, outdoor, online, in-store and activations at marathons across the planet. That’s expected. The line, though, will adapt to the meet the occasion. For tennis, it will become, It’s a tough game. Go smash it, for example.
The TVC was shot on location in New Zealand and VFX specialists MPC used cutting-edge CGI crowd replication technology, Miarmy, to create the crowd scenes. Spot colour highlights (of key ASICS products) emphasise ASICS’ role in the experience.
The ad’s real stars are its everyday running enthusiasts, cast from running groups around the world. Six ASICS-sponsored professional athletes from various running disciplines infuse the brand with cred: triathlete Gwen Jorgensen (US), 100m and 400m hurdler and sprinter Queen Harrison (US), 800m runner Ryan Martin (US), elite training and fitness athlete Rosario Rios-Aguilar (US) and elite trail runners Sissi Cussot (France) and Genis Zapater (Spain) are the support group who add cred to the brand.
Print will be used to highlight new product releases, linking them with the terrains that they have been built to conquer, and putting the buzz of the world’s marathon events to good use.
Katsumi Kato, head of ASICS global marketing division, commented, “Our new advertising campaign signifies a major step in communicating the ASICS brand on a global level. This demonstrates ASICS is the leading running brand, inspiring and helping athletes of all ages and abilities to experience running in all its forms. We believe ‘It’s a big World. Go run it.’ will appeal to all types of runners, whilst also keeping the sport fun and accessible.”
Al Moseley, president and chief creative officer, 180 Amsterdam added, “The eyes of the world are on ASICS in 2015 as the sports brand cements its position as the brand behind true athletes, all over the world. As an agency of runners and sportspeople, we know, first-hand, the incredible impact of ASICS and this has truly been a passion project for everyone involved.”
Agency: 180 Amsterdam
President and chief creative officer: Al Moseley
Creative director: Dean Maryon
Copywriter: Anna Sweet
Art director: Robbie Graham
Film production company: Somesuch
Director: Chris Sargent
Executive producer: Seth Wilson
Producer: James Waters
Post production/VFX: MPC
Print production company: Big Pictures and 180 Amsterdam
Stills photographer: Ben Ingham