lo-res_bld102687-sDuring a recent two-day training camp, held high in the Colorado mountains, Under Armour invited 35 athletes to prove their mettle—and the benefits of Under Amour gear. Outfitted in the latest gear, the participants battled through sleet, snow, and 10,000-foot elevations to prove that they had the heart of a runner.

In the resulting marketing communications, shared mainly through social media and the brand’s dedicated sites, the runners describe the harrowing experience, noting just how bad the conditions really were. Some of the international group of athletes had never run at high altitudes before. Others, upon receiving the survival packs that Under Armour provided, stocked with knives and small oxygen tanks, wondered just what they had gotten into. But the spot also offers inspiration and joy, showing exhausted runners hugging in victory after they complete the grueling course.

The spot also ends with a promise for the next adventure, noting that the mountains were nothing compared with the desert that comes next. Thus the brand is setting up a multi-episode communication campaign that seeks to connect with and inspire runners and active people to push themselves to the limits as well. In a parallel social media campaign, it promotes the hashtag #earnyourspot. Thus the chosen few who accept the challenge and earn the right to call themselves runners enjoy a unique status—a situation that Under Armour hopes will rub off on its brand image as well.

Discussion Question:

  1. What kind of call to action is Under Armour issuing with this latest marketing campaign?

 Source: Adrianne Pasquarelli, “Under Armour Goes Above and Beyond in Latest Video,” Advertising Age, August 22, 2016