Reebok Push Targets Women

Reebok has allocated one-third of its advertising budget to an effort that targets women.

Themed “It’s a woman’s world,” new commercials from New York’s Berlin, Cameron & Partners debuted last Thursday on the premiere of CBS’ Survivor Africa series. Those 30-second ads feature Survivor II: The Australian Outback winner Tina Weston and WNBA star Jennifer Azzi. “It’s a Man’s World,” James Brown’s soul standard, is on the soundtrack.

The ads are part of the company’s overarching “Defy convention” campaign unleashed as the year began. MediaCom, New York, handles media chores.

A 60-second execution is set to break Oct. 18 during the second installment of Survivor Africa. The spot features Azzi, tennis champion Venus Williams and hip-hop artist Missy Elliott, who contributes a musical take on Brown’s song, re titled “It’s a Woman’s World.”

The ads are intended to be a “contemporary and relevant way of speaking to today’s woman,” said company svp/marketing services Micky Pant. Women’s lines account for about one-third of Reebok’s annual sales, so the company is dedicating one-third of its ad spending to the effort, Pant said. Through the first half of 2001, Reebok spent $35 million on ads, per CMR.

Canton, Mass.-based Ree bok, long No. 2 in athletic footwear/apparel, has made gains of about 3 percent in the past year, boosting its overall market share to 15 percent, trailing Nike’s 37 percent, according to industry estimates. Sales during the first six months of 2001 increased just 2 percent to $1.5 billion from 2000, though net income in the same period surged 30 percent to $55 million.