The ASICS GEL-KAYANO™ 25 running shoe has been a category leader since 1993. With such a pedigree, the challenge becomes finding a new way to tell the brand story that engages and enthuses the target audience. That’s the task ASICS brought Edelman in to do.

The key to the ASICS GEL-KAYANO’s success is the technology used to design and make it. But all running-shoe brands talk about their tech. We needed to find a new way to engage with runners. Our research showed us that modern runners increasingly distract themselves with music, smartphones and wearables. By stripping all that out, we’d be able to refocus them on the act of running — and on the shoe.


Edelman 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. The runners were powered only by the power of their mind and the support of their ASICS GEL-KAYANO™ 25s.

From our footage of leading runners using the track, we created 42 branded films. These we promoted on a range of outlets — including GQ, CNN, Highsnobiety, Yahoo! News and Sky News.


The campaign reached 1.76 billion people. It also inspired 174,000 individual blackout challenges all over the world. Most importantly of all, the runners’ results showed a 4.5% increase in performance without distractions. This has changed the way all long-distance runners train and proved importance of the mind, supporting ASICS’ core brand belief in the power of the mind.