Category E07. Content Placement
Production UNIT9 London, UNITED KINGDOM
Name Company Position
Jamie Cordwell Edelman Creative Director
Anuj Shah Edelman Copywriter
Denesh Agnihotri Edelman Art Director
Waiming Wee Edelman Producer
Mattias Ronge Edelman CCO
Lucy Melling Edelman Managing Director
Emma Zadravetz Edelman Project Manager
James Murray UNIT9 Executive Producer
Ulla Winkler UNIT9 Executive Producer
Sean Pruen UNIT9 Director
Jade Alexander UNIT9 Producer
Frazer Howie UNIT9 Art Director
Natalie Steiner UNIT9 Production Manager
Simon Little UNIT9 Sound Design
Greg & Jacob UNIT9 Film Director
Harry Starkey-Midha UNIT9 Film Producer
James Donovan Edelman Agency Team
Harriet Persse Edelman Agency Team
Tiernan Silcok Edelman Agency Team
Zarren Siddiqui Edelman Agency Team
Harriet Muddiman Edelman Agency Team
Alex Cobb Edelman Agency Team
Jack Hancock Edelman Agency Team
Stefan Ronge Edelman Deportivo / Edelman CCO


Situation ASICS used to be the only running shoe brand that was devoted to innovation. Nowadays all big shoe brands talk about the technology in their shoes, in similar voices, demonstrating what it does for a runner’s body. Brief ASICS – an acronym for a sound mind in a sound body – asked us to launch the new shoe GEL-KAYANO 25, a shoe packed with technology, but not hugely different from GEL-KAYANO 24. Objectives 10 percent sales increase compared to last year’s model GEL-KAYANO 24 (similar budget) Engage and intrigue runner community online. 150 million in earned media coverage

Describe the strategy

Most runner shoe brands focus on helping bodies to move faster. To use our Japanese heritage – ASICS is an acronym for a sound mind in a sound body – and start an emotionally relatable conversation on long distance running, we wanted to highlight that running is a mental sport. Because when you have the best shoes, it is the mind that will hold you back. So what if runners should train their minds and not only their bodies? Approach Together with sport scientists we built a 150M runner’s track to train the mind. We handpicked the right journalists, influencers and talent from markets all over the world. We secured own production on the site, making sure that we had content production throughout the experiment. We even set out to find out how much of the speed that could be attributed to the mind (around 5%).

Describe the execution

Since the track would only be a physical experience for influencers and talent, we relied on digital and social to make our track a global experience. Journalists, influencers and talent tried the ASICS Blackout Track for 20 minutes each. We had a partly prerecorded launch film going out already the first day, together with press material, high res images and ongoing social content with our running influencers and talent. Thanks to a unique experience, the social currency for the campaign was very high for all involved influencers. Three weeks after the campaign, we followed up with a social film on the power of the mind in running (5% according to our tests) To make sure anyone in the world could try a blackout run, we introduced a Blackout Edition in Runkeeper, turning of music and notifications and invited people to try it through banner advertising and in our social films.

List the results

Blackout Track was ASICS’ most successful shoe launch of all time. Glance: - Sales Increase: 125% (Target =10% increase, compared with the 2017 shoe launch ) - Earned Reach: 2.2 Billion (Target = 150 Million) - Runkeeper Blackout Edition App: 170,000 Downloads Full: Journalists, influencers, runners and Internet at large loved the track, and we counted an earned reach of 2.2 billion. In many places, including Sky News live, the ASICS brand promise of a Sound Mind in a Sound Body was explicitly called out. The Blackout edition in Runkeeper was downloaded 170 000+ times in one week, globally. After massive uptake, it's now a permanent feature in the app. Online awareness and engagement in the campaign idea, had direct sales impact. Without any ground breaking new features, or larger budget, the sales went up by 125 percent for GEL-KAYANO 25, compared to GEL-KAYANO 24 launched the year before.