New Balance rethinks what it means to be a runner in new campaign

Launched with fitness app Strava, the campaign champions less conventional forms of exercise – from chasing after your dog to running for the bus

There’s been a spate of fitness ads rooted in realism in recent months. Even the originator of earnest voiceovers and endurance metaphors, Nike, changed tack when it celebrated the joy of being rubbish at sport as part of its Play New campaign.

While January used to be a time of shaming people into joining the gym, New Balance is the latest sports brand to take a different approach with its new campaign, Every Runner Has A Reason, which aims to dispel existing myths around what it means to be a runner.

The brand is hoping to engage those who may not yet realise they’re a runner with the campaign film and accompanying posters, which depict unconventional forms of exercise ranging from someone running after their takeaway delivery to chasing after their dog in the park.

To give extra credibility to this kind of running, it has launched a new challenge on fitness app Strava to coincide with the campaign, which asks people to run 30k between January 17 and February 13. In return, participants will receive a 10% discount code for New Balance and the chance to earn a place in races including the London Marathon (perhaps a more serious undertaking than running for the bus, admittedly).

Agency: Generation Works
Production company: NOIR productions
Director: Walid Labri