Asics Athletic Shoe Positioned as Selected Brand

A new campaign for Asics Tiger Corp. created by Vitrorobertson speaks to consumers who choose to use the brand less traveled.
The athletic shoe marketer’s “My sport. My brand” print effort features a decidedly different tone than most athletic product advertising. The typical promises of increased prowess or endorsements by sports celebrities are nowhere to be found. Instead, the campaign centers around quiet acknowledgement of brand loyalty.
“Asics is a selected brand,” explained John Vitro, partner and co-creative director of the San Diego-based agency.
“Asics athletes put an extra effort into finding [Asics shoes]. It’s also a brand badge that makes them feel good. They’re part of a club of more serious and dedicated athletes,” Vitro added.
The ads focus on the idea of Asics as a selected brand–as opposed to an accepted brand that is available everywhere.
The campaign was designed around three goals: maintain Asics’ unique brand personality; continue to reach the shoemaker’s core consumers; and connect with a broader group of people and invite them to try Asics.
Shannon Scott, manager of marketing communication for the Irvine, Calif.-based advertiser, said Asics’ positioning is intended to create “brand disciples.”
In four spreads and six single-page executions, individuals demonstrate their passion for or commitment to a sport.
One ad, for example, features the words “my breathing, my shoe.” It describes a runner’s admiration for the sound of her own breathing as a reminder of her vitality.
Other similarly themed print executions include “my hands, my shoe” and “my reflection, my shoe.”
“By having these intimate conversations with our consumers, [the campaign] connects us emotionally as well as visually with them,” said Scott.
The print schedule includes such publications as Men’s Health, Shape and Runner’s World. The effort will run through the end of this year.
Asics has been a Vitrorobertson client since 1996. Other clients on the agency’s roster include Taylor Guitars and Yamaha Watercraft. K