Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bare ass Adidas

Warning. This post contains bare buttocks!

It's hard for me to think about being sponsored by New Balance without wanting to help shape the idea that I will be a part of. I don't have a fully baked idea but I know it would be about real people and their running passions. It could be emotional but I am not against humor. I can envision myself in it. I look really good (for me). Any minute now, some smart person at NB is going to notice me and sweep me right off my unremarkable feet. I have a good feeling about it.

New Balance's Where Are You Running To feature
I still need to do a deep dive on New Balance. I don't know much about them really. I can't be sponsored by a company that I don't know intimately. That wouldn't do. In a superficial look at the content on NewBalance.com, I noticed the "Where Are You Running To" content. It's a bunch of DJ's talking about their lives and their NB shoes. This is along the line of what I am talking about with the "real people" idea that would feature me but my idea would go deep into the running mindset. I'd hope that my sponsorship would have more longevity than this content. I don't want to be a flash (even an awesome flash) in NB's pan. OK, I am going to make a big confession here. I'm not a fan of the tagline Let's Make Excellent Happen. Just because I want to be sponsored by New Balance doesn’t mean I have to like their current tagline. They are better than their tagline. What the heck does it mean anyway? Is that a defendable position for them? I don't see other brands hitting the scene with a "We Think Mediocre Kicks Ass" message. Utter silliness. New Balance had some cheesy ads back in the day but the whole idea of “The New Balance of Running” worked for me. They had the advantage of a focus on running in those days. One TV spot announced “A balance between joy and pain. A balance between work and play. A balance between love and hate” ending with… “We are geared toward tipping the balance [love gets bigger than hate in the visuals] Love/hate This is the New Balance.” That’s some potent stuff right there people. The duality of running is a real struggle that runners of all levels face. In these ads, New Balance had the distinct purpose of tipping this balance toward the area that would drive passion, motivation and dare I say excellence? How do you go from that to there to "Let's Make Excellent Happen"? 

Back to me. The concept that New Balance is going to come up with that features me will connect with insights. Runners know runners and running. It’s a simple recipe. I'm looking forward to it. A good example of tapping into insight is Adidas' "Runners, Yeah, We’re Different" campaign (1999/2000). It’s all nod nod wink wink stuff. Runner jokes written by runners for runners. The ads are mostly civilian reactions to runner behaviors that seem normal to other runners. Funny stuff like:
    A woman watching a guy pasting tape over his nipples
    A mom with a stroller watching another pregnant mom running with a jogging stroller
    A woman at the doctor's office checking out all the framed race bibs on the wall
    A bewildered fly fisherman looking at a half naked trail runner fly through the river
See them in their old-school glory here:

A friend of mine told me that these chiseled Adidas buttocks in the ad belong to two-time 10,000 meter Olympian and four-time 10,000 meter U.S. champion Todd Williams who is now an Adidas employee. A little bit of research yielded this fun video where Todd talks about the photo shoot:

So, what was the purpose of this post? After the rambling and the nudity, I’m not sure I remember. I guess I am now trying to influence the New Balance idea that will feature me as the sponsored runner? Doesn’t it seem like I am taking a whole new liberty with this New Balance thing? Yup. My blog and my dream!

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