ASICS faced a tough challenge.

With technological advancements being made by brands previously known more for fashion than performance, key running audiences no longer saw ASICS as the clear winner in the performance running category, and sales were declining.

The new ASICS GLIDERIDE™ running shoe is ground-breaking innovation: a running shoe with designed to help you save energy as you run.

We needed to launch the GLIDERIDE™ into the crowded market and enhance ASICS’ reputation, reasserting them as the go-to brand for high-performance running.

ASICS asked us to do use the new innovative and energy saving shoe Glideride, to build brand preference for ASICS amongst runners in key markets.

Our objective was to tell deep, meaningful stories that push the brand forward.

Sports brands are celebrating whoever crosses the finish line first, while runners obsess over that next line.

ASICS has a longer-term view of performance. We wanted to challenge this sense of short term winning, show our deeper connection to runners and running, and show that what really separates us from the competition, is our mindset.

What if the finish line actually holds us back from reaching our true potential?

Solution: 

An Eternal Run: The world’s first race without a finish line.

STRATEGY & EXECUTION

In Utah Salt Flats we created the ultimate live product test for the Glideride shoe. We invited 23 athletes, influencers and journalists to the Bonneville Salt Flats with no route, no pacemakers and no finish line, to see how far they could run. Each was assigned a pace. When the whistle blew they had to run, until they couldn’t run anymore.

ASICS target audience are real runners: they care about performance and challenging themselves. ASICS is an acronym for a sound mind in a sound body and the brand has a deep care for runners. How better to test the limits of your mind and our shoes, than taking all the other limits away?

The brand experience would be the earned engine for the entire campaign.

Our choice of runners would ensure that this epic experience was shared with the whole world: Journalists ran, securing big titles. Established runners spoke to the hardcore running community. Influencers engaged wider online audiences.

We created short online campaign films to enable wide sharing and a 10-minute documentary to cover the whole experience.

Together with a group of leading experts including world-renowned sport scientist Professor Samuele Marcora, ASICS RUNKEEPER™ data analysts, elite coaches and the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS), we designed the unique race.

Sports scientists assessed how far each runner was physically capable of running. Each runner was assigned a pace, based on ability. When the whistle blew, runners had to make their pace and keep running. If they dropped below that pace, they would receive a warning. 3 warnings and they would be out.

BUSINESS OUTCOME

  • 1.7BN Earned Reach
  • 82% of the runners in key markets (US, China, UK, Japan, Germany) have a more positive opinion of ASICS than before
  • 80% believe ASICS is reinventing running (+23 points)
  • 70% Would choose ASICS over other brands (+17 points)
  • 67% would pay more for ASICS products (+14 points)
  • 49% thinks ASICS is an innovative brand (+19 points)
  • The main reason behind the idea was to build brand preference, but yet the campaign also contributed with an 81% purchase intent
  • And as for the results of the shoes, using Glideride 71% of the runners ran further than predicted, which was spread around the world