Sports fans have long been familiar with the rallying cry for Under Armour and its line of athletic gear: “Protect this house.” But after a decade, the tagline has grown a bit stale, leading the company to introduce a new theme and a new ad campaign, rallying around the promise, “I will.”
The advertising campaign, which represents Under Armour’s initial explicit effort to expand globally, will lead the company to increase its advertising budget by 20 percent compared with last year. With that additional investment, it will buy online and outdoor advertising. But the bulk of the campaign is focused on television ads, the first of which appeared during the NBA All-Star Weekend.
The ads promise a future in which athletes can—with the swipe of a finger over smart fabric—adjust the weight of their gear depending on the weather, change the color of their shirt depending on their mood, and track their workout intensity with their clothing. These promises reflect the goals for Under Armour’s Armour39 digital performance monitor, which remains a developing rather than an existing technology. The purpose thus is to demonstrate the company’s commitment to innovation and technology, even if buyers cannot quite obtain these benefits yet.
The campaign seeks to make another promise as well: to appeal to both women and men. Previous campaigns consistently drew more attention from male customers and athletes, and the reason might have had something to do with the previous advertising. The current campaign still features more male professional athletes (including a boxer, an NBA player, and an MLB phenom) but also highlights the female tennis professional Sloane Stevens.
Source: Natalie Zmuda, “Under Armour Unveils Anthem to Kick Off Its Biggest Global Ad Push,” Ad Age, February 12, 2013