The first African American to be named as principal ballerina, Misty Copeland is a great ambassador for a brand looking to celebrate the accomplishments of women in sport and dance.
She stars in Under Armour’s Unlike Any campaign, which pairs five women with spoken word artists to tell their story.
Also featuring are actress and Taekwondo Black Belt, Zoe Lanxin.
Stunt woman Jessie Graff, Harlem Run founder Alison Desir and World Champion sprinter Natasha Hastings, make up the five. While the films are the centrepoint of the campaign, over 110 unique assets for social have been created which highlight products and technologies in Under Armour’s FW17 collection.
When it comes to sports brand advertising, there is a definite format to be followed – the inner voice telling of the supreme sacrifice require to reach greatness, the training footage capturing the lonely hours of dedication and hard work. Tonally, these spots are less about the macho world of blood, sweat and tears and more an evocation of the grace and abilities of their subjects.
Rightly, many brands’ hamfisted attempts to embrace concepts of ’empowerment’ and purpose have been questioned, but that shouldn’t prevent us from appreciating the potential of campaigns such as this. There is a wide array of statistical evidence around the health effects of women giving up physical activity early in life. In part, this is because traditional organised sport lacks appeal for many while alternative physical activities are not afforded the same cultural status as mainstream sports.
Advertising’s ability to normalise behaviours has an important role to play in encouraging all of us to be more active in whatever way we choose.
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creatives: Doug Hamilton, Kia Heinnen, Castro Desroches, Diana Perez
Director: Georgia Hudson, Agile Films