The Ask:

Authentically market Reebok to women.

This Insight:

Showing and sharing imperfections is the gateway to becoming truly authentic.

The Idea:

Celebrate everyday women who are on the journey to find their athletic strength.

How do we create a unique identity for Reebok that truly speaks to women?


The Situation:

We Had Two Weeks to Correct Five Years of Decline and Neglect.

We were given two weeks to find a way for Reebok to authentically connect with the female market, and, in doing so, leapfrog other brands’ pre-existing campaigns.

The Problem:

“Brands are still telling us who we can be. Strong AND beautiful. Smart AND sexy. We’re not just two things, we’re multi-dimensional human beings.”– Aly Greenberg, founder of The Broad RVA

A Culture of Labels.

Women are constantly bombarded with media telling them what they can and cannot do, what they should and should not be.

A category that looks, feels, and sounds the same.

Identicalness has become commonplace as liberating female athletes from labels has become the category convention. This is causing brands’ ideologies and messaging to look, feel, and sound similar.

Athletic brands are substituting genuineness for reruns and aspiration for fantasy. This in turn is curtailing their ability to connect authentically with their target audience.

“Simpsons Did It” Effect

With every new campaign the creativity pool gets smaller and the ability to stand out as an athletic brand deteriorates. Topics such as young girls in sports, society’s placing limits on women, and sexual biases, have all been addressed in recent competitor campaigns.

This issue reminds me of a South Park episode where they couldn’t come up with an original script because The Simpsons had already done it. As strategists, we knew that we needed to find a direction for Reebok that was unique to the category.

The Opportunity:

Accepting Imperfections Is The Gateway to Discovering Your Strengths.

In a world run on perceived perfection, we crave brands who are willing to be imperfect and vulnerable. Over 90% of the women we interviewed felt an authentic connection to Glossier. Glossier has differentiated themselves in the makeup industry by going against convention and showing the true power and emotion of unpolished beauty. With this insight we redefined our problem.

How do we make Reebok feel less manufactured and more real?

CrossFit is a Catalyst for Athletic Authenticity.

CrossFit has the ability to tear down sexual divides and expectations, daring you to find your inner strength. It offers an unfiltered view into the sweat, blood, tears, and cheers that makes fitness compelling. Reebok can use the unfiltered culture of CrossFit to guide them to an unclaimed territory in the athletic market.

The Strategy
Celebrate the reality of exercise.

The reality of exercise is that it brings out our most human instincts.
Exercising can make us laugh, cry, and feel our most authentic emotions.

Thought Starters:

Anything Is Fitness.

We’ve seen a trend in the last decade of more obscure sports gaining traction in the athletic market. Shows such as Netflix’s GLOW and the rise of Women’s Flat Track Derby (aka Roller Derby) are empowering women to ignore social stereotypes and embrace what they love. Reebok can be the leader in a new, non-stereotypical athletic mindset, embracing the mentality of fitness and tossing aside all the constructs.

Become a Megaphone for the True Athletic Superstars

This is Brooke, a blind CrossFit competitor who regularly posts Instagram stories of her accomplishments. The amount of willpower, strength, and bravery Brooke brings to the gym everyday is immeasurable. But Brooke isn’t alone, female athletes are constantly pushing to better themselves and sharing their struggles, hardships, and accomplishments on social media. Reebok has the power to become a megaphone for the these superstars, bringing their inspirational stories to the forefront of the athletic market.

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