The world’s first running track designed to train the mind
WATCH THE VIDEO
JUNE 2018

CHALLENGE

The ASICS GEL-KAYANO™ 25 running shoe has held its leadership position in the category since 1993. But how many big shoe brands talk about the tech in their running shoes? Answer: pretty much all of them. So, to help the new GEL-KAYANO™ 25 stand out from the pack, we had to reach runners’ hearts and minds in a unique and ownable way.

INSIGHT AND STRATEGY

It doesn’t matter how great our shoes are if the runner’s mind won’t keep up with them. Runners today are pampering their minds with music, smartphones, wearables, music and scenery – in short, with distractions.

Yet running is a mental sport – something most runners know instinctively but neither brands nor fitness communities tend to talk about.

To grab the world’s attention with the launch of a running shoe, we wanted to start a whole new conversation. It was time to show every runner why muscle training isn’t only for their body. They have to train their mind too.

SOLUTION

We created the world’s first running track to train the mind: a custom-built 150 metre course cloaked in darkness with no tech, no music, no scenery, no comforts and no finish line. Using 60 custom-made sound and light plinths to eliminate distractions and a spotlight system that tracked every step, the runners could see nothing beyond their own two feet and were fuelled only by the power of their mind and the support of their ASICS GEL-KAYANO™ 25s.

OUTCOME

We shot 42 stunning branded films and took 1,320 on-and off track photos – then used them to seize the world’s attention. Our content drove 124,701 engagements in just 4 days. The story, with ASICS GEL- KAYANO™ 25 at its heart, generated 104 pieces of earned media coverage including GQ, CNN, Highsnobiety, Yahoo! News, Sky News and The Drum, reaching 1.76 billion people and driving intent to purchase from asics.com/kayano25. And through our partnership with Runkeeper, we inspired 174,000 individual blackout challenges all over the world. Most importantly, the runners’ results showed a 4.5% drop in performance without distractions, forever changing the way all long distance runners train, by proving the importance of the mind and supporting ASICS’ core brand belief that a sound mind and body is crucial to running at your best.
"Runners plunged into darkness"
The Mirror
"A battle against themselves"
The Independent
"In the best, weirdest running workout you haven’t tried"
GQ
"A mental marathon"
Daily Mail
"Shut up my mind"
The Sun