Asics: ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’

Asics is rolling out a global campaign from the Vitro Agency, San Diego, that advertises the sneaker brand with the tagline, “Sound mind, sound body.”

That positioning is a play on the brand name “Asics,” an acronym for the Latin phrase “Anima sana in corpore sano” — “A sound mind in a sound body.”

A 30-second commercial breaking nationally this week demonstrates “The cleansing power of sport” — the campaign’s pervading theme — by showing a runner sprinting through walls of water as words such as “fear,” “stress” and “doubt,” rendered in various languages, fall away from his body.

“It’s about shedding all those [negative] things on a daily basis when you get that moment to get out and exercise,” said Gary Slayton, vp, marketing communications at Asics America, Irvine, Calif. “It’s all about perspective, and readjusting their outlook on their personal lifestyle.”

The positioning grew out of research showing that while consumers weren’t familiar with the acronym behind the Asics name, when explained, it resonated and lent positive feelings to the brand.

“‘Sound body, sound mind’ is much more than a tagline,” added Tom Sullivan, CEO of Vitro, which has been working on Asics’ U.S. ad business since 1996 and won the global assignment last year after a review. “It’s the origin of the company name and brand philosophy.”

The healthy mind and body theme will be featured in TV, print and online advertising.