There are certain brands that want people to believe they can become something or anything they aspire to be. There’s Adidas telling everyone “Impossible is nothing”. There’s Nike telling everyone to “Just do it”. It’s a classic strategy, making people feel they are better than they are.
Then, there are products or brands who flat out shock people with someone else’s greatness and force people to be in awe by challenging them to do what certain people do. It’s a strategy more common to brands that support mothers or parents or soldiers. That is why Asics Treadmill Challenge is a cut above the rest.
Asics is moving towards becoming a brand for athletes. It is a move that aims to emphasize the quality of their products and announce their formal entry to the league of Adidas and Nike.
However, both Nike and Adidas cater to people who are not professional athletes. Asics’ new trust seems geared towards those who want to become active, if not athletes.
The first step is to attach their brand to a different kind of breed. Nike and Adidas have made very strong associations to popular professional athletes such as Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods. Asics turns to other athletes who are, nonetheless great, but less recognized such as Ryan Hall, America’s fastest marathoner.
Taking it to the Streets
The goal is to make people realize that they can’t do what athletes like Ryan Hall can do, that these athletes are a different breed and that they deserve more respect.
They brought a mobile treadmill to different parts of America and make people run at Ryan Hall’s speed. The result: no one won.
Marathons, unlike speed running, require that a person “phase” herself or himself. In order to have enough energy to run the distance, it is important that the runner run just enough speed to ensure there will be enough energy to finish it. People are encouraged to jog, instead of run when training for the marathon. However, professional marathoners’ jog is distance from mere mortals like us.
The message was clear, athletes like Ryan Hall deserve respect. Asics support athletes like Ryan Hall. However, the bigger triumph is the personal, direct and intimate interaction that people had with Asics. Being able to personally experience how difficult it is to run like Ryan Hall, they know that Asics in a quality that would support the requirements of Such training.