Advertising Case Study: Under Armour

misty-copeland-under-armour-commercial-6

Posted by Erin Schroeder, Copywriter & Online Specialist

If you haven’t seen the new Under Armour ad featuring ballerina Misty Copeland that first aired last week, the 60-second spot is definitely worth a watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA

It’s a powerful clip with the narrator reading snippets of a past rejection letter – from “you have the wrong body for ballet” to “you are too old to be considered” – as the young woman glides through the air effortlessly, and we later learn she is now a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre.

Not only is Under Armour sending a powerful message here in this ad, but the brand has built a full campaign around this inspiring theme of female fierceness and determination.

This comes as a refreshing change in approach as Under Armour is often associated with the tough guy image where men are seen in its commercials lifting weights or hitting the football field to the tune of “Protect this House.”

Yes, women have had some starring roles in these clips, but the new campaign focuses solely on them and their remarkable achievements. The ads also integrate the brand’s original “I Will” motto and further strengthen it with the amended version, “I Will What I Want.”

Another plus with the new campaign? In addition to big-name stars like skier Lindsey Vonn appearing on screen, Under Armour shares the stories of lesser-known athletes like Copeland.

And along with capturing the resilience of female athletes, we have to give credit to the company for showing its own, too.

It was a rough start to 2014 when Under Armour faced some serious speculation that the suits it supplied for the United States speedskating team at the Sochi Olympics factored in to the competitors’ poor performance and lack of medals.

This claim was later dismissed by the US Speedskating executive director and the partnership renewed, but it’s likely that the less-than-stellar PR didn’t serve as a brand booster.

From the looks of it, though, Under Armour is back on track and moving forward with a marketing campaign that is stronger than ever.

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