Reebok sports '90s nostalgia in campaign courting young consumers
- Reebok launched a global campaign, "Sport the Unexpected," which taps into '90s nostalgia and emphasizes the athletic apparel marketer's history, according to news shared with Marketing Dive. The campaign, the first to be spearheaded by Melanie Boulden, who joined Reebok as global head of marketing and brand management in April last year, includes digital, social and traditional media integrations, including TV spots.
- Developed with the help of agency of record Venables Bell & Partners, the effort kicks off with a short film, "Storm the Court," depicting a young girl interrupting a pick-up basketball game and then getting players and people in the crowd to participate in a bizarre dance with her. The video showcases the Reebok Aztrek Double, a new iteration of the sneaker the brand first debuted in 1993.
- Reebok will release two other videos to support the effort, including "Back Where We Started," which goes back in time to spotlight the Reebok classic Club C shoe. One of the videos will also feature a yet-to-be-named celebrity, according to Business Insider, and recent Reebok creative has starred high-profile athletes and artists, such as Cardi B.
Reebok is turning back to its past with the latest campaign, revamping or resurrecting old-school shoe models and spotlighting them through quirky, off-kilter creative. The push is targeted at Gen Z and other young consumers, per Business Insider, who tend to be fond of '80s and '90s nostalgia in their marketing, even if they were fairly young during those timeframes.
While the latest effort is global in scale, Reebok has dipped into similar wells before. The brand introduced a '90s-themed content series titled "Aztrek: 90s Re-Run" last year. It featured several social media influencers, who were filmed wearing vintage Reebok gear from the era, and emphasized individuality, originality and self-expression.
Still, "Sport the Unexpected" marks a bit of a strategy shift for Reebok. Acquired by Adidas in 2005, the company has focused on fitness enthusiasts and athletes, as noted by Business Insider. However, the new campaign appears to be shooting for a broader consumer base, who might see athletic apparel and footwear as not only for the gym or field anymore.
Streetwear, sneaker culture and athleisure are popular trends with Gen Zers and millennials, and Reebok could be angling to stake out a larger share of those highly competitive markets. Nike and Adidas have dominated some of those spaces, but newer players, like Lululemon, Outdoor Voices and others, have grown increasingly popular in recent years.