Eternal Run was an earned campaign at its core. We trusted that the first race without a finish line would be captivating and engaging enough for key journalists and influencers to join us in the Utah Salt Flats. We approached earned media before, during and after the race and edited beautiful and thought worthy content in real time. The news about the race spread around the world and changed the ASICS brand preference in an impressive way.
ASICS faced a tough challenge. With technological advancements being made by brands previously known more for fashion than performance, key running audiences no longer saw ASICS as the clear winner in the performance running category, and sales were declining.
The new ASICS GLIDERIDE™ running shoe is ground-breaking innovation: a running shoe designed to help you save energy as you run.
OBJECTIVES: We needed to launch the GLIDERIDE™ into the crowded market and enhance ASICS’ reputation, reasserting them as the go-to brand for high-performance running. ASICS asked us to use the new innovative and energy saving shoe GLIDERIDE™, to build brand preference for ASICS amongst runners in key markets.
BRIEF: Specifically, they wanted us to:
• Drive fame for the brand
• Enhance perception of the brand as innovative
• Increase willingness to recommend • Increase brand value amongst consumers (willingness to pay more)
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
ASICS' target audience are real runners: they care about performance and challenging themselves. What if the finish line holds us back from reaching our true potential?
CREATIVE SOLUTION: Eternal Run: The world’s first race without a finish line. In Utah Salt Flats we created the ultimate live product test for the GLIDERIDE™ shoe.
We invited 23 athletes, influencers and journalists to the Bonneville Salt Flats with no route, no pacemakers and no finish line, to see how far they could run.
Each was assigned a pace.
When the whistle blew they had to run, until they couldn’t run anymore.
The brand experience would be the earned engine for the campaign.
Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)
ASICS' target audience are real runners: they care about performance and challenging themselves.
ASICS is an acronym for a sound mind in a sound body and the brand has a deep care for runners. How better to test the limits of your mind and our shoes, than taking all the other limits away?
Our choice of runners would ensure that this epic experience was shared with the whole world:
- Journalists ran, securing big titles.
- Established runners spoke to the hardcore running community.
- Influencers engaged wider online audiences.
We created short online campaign films to enable wide sharing and a 10-minute documentary to cover the whole experience.
Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)
Designing this unique race in a trustworthy and newsworthy way, we collaborated with leading experts; including world-renowned sport scientist Professor Samuele Marcora, ASICS RUNKEEPER™ data analysts, elite coaches and the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS).
We indentified journalists, influencers and runners who would be great vehicles for the earned story – both the ones participating in the race and the ones who would cover it.
The base camp was designed for media and influencers to be able to record and spread their stories: a main stage, tread mill, race screens and we even built an antenna for mobile broadband coverage in the desert.
All content was for amplifying earned, so we produced, edited and shared in real time.
We had coverage before, during and after the race, including: images, short brand films, and 10-minute documentary, adapted for different audiences.
Participants began their outreach as soon as the race finished.
List the results (30% of vote)
• 1.7 BN EARNED REACH
• The Mail Online, Yahoo! News, Sport and Finance, Forbes, T3 and Mashable all covered the race and associated assets.
• Each ran features that include interviews with spokespeople Samuele Marcora (sports scientist), Liz McColgan and Wayne Bridge (event runners).
• 85% of US coverage included our key messages in the first half of the story.
TARGET AUDIENCE OUTCOMES (SENTIMENT)
Of people who saw the campaign:
• 70% would choose ASICS over other brands (+17 points)
• 80% believe ASICS is reinventing running (+23 points)
• 84% of those previously unaware of the brand would consider buying ASICS
• 69% of those previously unaware of the brand would recommend ASICS.
• 70% want to take part in future Eternal Run events
• 82% have a more positive opinion of ASICS than before
• 81% expressed purchase intent
• 67% would pay more for ASICS products (+14 points)
• 79% say they trust ASICS as a brand more after the campaign
• 79% are more likely to recommend ASICS
• 64% want to travel to Utah to do it themselves!
• 81% describe the experience as ‘astonishing’ and ‘spectacular’
• 78% think the experiment was ground-breaking
• 85% think it demonstrates the importance of a strong mind in running
• 89% have a positive impression of the ASICS brand
• 82% believe that ASICS deeply cares about runners (+12 points)
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