Runners aren’t like everyone else. If you’re a runner, you understand the desire to wake up at 5 a.m. and get your feet on the pavement as soon as possible. You understand the drive to keep pushing forward, even when your muscles tell you not to. You’re not the only one. Check out these motivating commercials and advertisements that make it fun to be a runner.
1. Always “Run Like a Girl”
Always’ ads that ran during the 2015 Super Bowl, entitled “like a girl”, brought to light the types of stereotypes that female runners, athletes and kids alike deal with in the professional world as well as in the school system and among peers. The ads vilified the negative associations with the phrase “like a girl” and take back the phrase, rebranding the words for a new generation.
2. Adidas “Runners are Different”
Runners around the world will remember the Adidas ads that showed just how “different” runners can be. The ads, which show a series of strange things runners are known to do, reached out to a demographic of serious runners who could really empathize with some of the ads’ crazy antics. In one ad, a man stretches his hamstrings on a queue divider. In another, a woman at her doctor’s office realises the diplomas displayed on the walls aren’t diplomas at all—they’re marathon bibs.
3. Nike “Obese Kid Running”
Another ground-breaking ad that ran during the Super Bowl, “obese kid running”. The ad, which was pretty controversial, shows an obese kid running down a deserted road. He sweats a little, but he’s actually not struggling too much. While some thought the ad exploited a “fat kid”, many realised that its purpose was to show that anyone could be a runner—not just the svelte Bruce Jenner types we’ve grown up watching on TV. The ad featured a British announcer who described that greatness is inside all of us—not just an elite few.
4. Reebok – Freak Show – Be More Human
This inspirational commercial video isn’t made just for runners but to all the athletes out there who spend their days bloody, muddy, and sore, not for bright lights or money, but to simply be the best version of themselves.
5. Ironage “Keep Improving”
The pixelated “keep improving” campaign that markets Ironage shows that big improvements take little steps. The pixelated photos are broken down to show runners and athletes improving their personal bests, little by little, throughout the daily blocks of a monthly calendar or a daily planner. All runners love this ad because every runner understands the importance of reaching goals, one day at a time.
6. Mizuno “Your Body is Our Inspiration”
The words in this Mizuno ad say it all: “Your body is our inspiration”. The company’s line of shoes was obviously designed to work with the human body, and the design of the shoe is also inspired by the muscles and tendons of the human body. The shoes in the ads look like they are extensions of the ankles and calves, and the exterior design of the shoe mimics the look of the muscles and tendons of the legs that it’s almost like the skin has been pulled back from the body, exposing a perfectly formed shoe.
7. Massachusetts General Hospital “It Hurts to Run”
This ad, created for Massachusetts General Hospital was obviously designed to tug on the heartstrings of both runners and non-runners alike. It features a woman running down a depressing, grey road. The text tells you that the runner in the photo, a marathon runner, began experiencing pain that was caused by a pinched artery. Thanks to the doctors at the hospital, the woman was able to continue her training instead of being plagued with pain.
8. Dicks “I Had a Dream”
Another commercial that tugs on the heartstrings, this commercial is the only one to use verbal storytelling as a way to convey the heart and soul of a brand through a personal achievement. The commercial shows a woman talking about how she wasn’t “allowed” to run as a young girl. Julia Chase talks about how she challenged the ban on women running long distance, a triumph for all female runners.
9. ASICS – It’s a big world. Go Run it.
Any competitive runner understands that there is a huge variety of ways to reach the top. This is why runners constantly push their boundaries trying to discover new ways to better their performance. This ASICS ad directly targets those runners who strive to reach the top, to discover the big world of running.
10. TriEnergy “We Transform the Energy”
Though TrEnergy was not a company that sold products for runners, but they did sell energy—something that all runners covet. These ads targeted athletes who understood that energy could neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed. In addition to athletes, they also targeted people who sought out a healthy lifestyle and promoted recycling energy forms, not creating new ones.
11. Skechers GOrun 2 – Man vs Cheetah Big Game
Well this commercial might be exaggerating but you have applause its humor. This ad features a man wearing a pair of Go Run 2 sneakers that can outrun a cheetah.
What’s Your Favourite Running Ads?
We have all seen our fair share of advertisements. Some are so badly done that we wouldn’t even bother looking at them while others did it so subtly that we adore them. So what’s the best running or sports advertisement you have ever seen? Share with us in the comments below.