- New Balance unveiled a new music video that celebrates the connection between music and running culture and strives to inspire women to push boundaries and meet their goals, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- The video features a song from female-led band Beginners x Night Panda called “Start a Riot” and four New Balance female runners, including Lisanne de Witte, a sprinter form the Netherlands; Stephanie Garcia, a steeplechase athlete from the U.S.; Cory McGee, U.S. middle distance runner; and, Bev Ramos, a middle/long distance runner from Puerto Rico. Each athlete’s “in-pursuit” story will be highlighted at @NBWomen, @NBRunning and @NewBalance on Instagram and NewBalance.com.
- The campaign was created by a female director and all-female creative team at VMLY&R to promote the Fresh Foam cushioning platform that showcases the brand’s data-driven technology.
While female-empowerment is hardly a unique angle among athletic wear brands, what's interesting about the New Balance effort is its use of an all-female creative team. The push for more female representation behind the scenes in advertising is a more recent trend in marketing that appears to be steadily gaining steam. Other companies, including alcohol producer Diageo, have joined the “Free the Bid” initiative, which calls on ad agencies and content producers to include at least one female director in the creative bidding process. New Balance takes the commitment to empowering women in the advertising industry a step further with an all-female team.
Consumers are opting to support brands that focus on gender positivity and eliminate outdated stereotypes. Gender-positive messaging can lead to an 8% to 10% boost in brand perception and created greater loyalty with 48% of men and women, according to Facebook research. However, shoppers also want authenticity in their brands, meaning there is an expectation that a marketer supporting female empowerment also does so within its business. Casting real-life female athletes and giving them a platform to share their stories adds an element of authenticity that will resonate with consumers and connect with female runners, who are outnumbering men at short- and long-distance races. Putting women on the team that created the campaign helps to deepens the sense of authenticity.
The new campaign also underscores how major brands are experimenting with highly produced video and cinematic visuals to build brand awareness. The commercial and social media elements are part of New Balance’s year-long digital campaign to boost its image and stand out in the competitive women’s athletic apparel and footwear market, where brands like Nike and Lululemon hold a significant share. New Balance announced plans to leverage short-form video on social media and documentary-type video distributed on platforms like Bleacher Report and Refinery29 and featuring the brand’s athletes.
New Balance’s new campaign comes as the brand recently named a new CEO, Joe Preston, who had previously served as the company’s chief commercial officer. The brand saw global growth from $1.5 billion in 2007 to $4.2 billion in 2018, and grew international sales from 30% to 65%