"In the last 18 to 24 months we've gone from one ad to major
communications platforms," said Richard Prenderville, VP-global
brand marketing at Reebok, which is part of Adidas Group. "We've
had a couple of bursts of communication that have really worked
well for us."
Now, the brand is looking to build on that momentum with two new
global campaigns from DDB, Berlin,
launching this month. Reebok began working with the agency nearly
two years ago, and the agency's ability to understand how Reebok
approaches sports differently than, say, Nike, has been key. "We
walked into the relationship with DDB saying we've always had a
different take on the world," Mr. Prenderville said. "All the other
brands take more of a blood, sweat and tears approach. We think fun
is more of a sustaining motivational factor. Having fun staying in
shape is our strategic territory."
The EasyTone campaign features the "Reetoners," a group of seven
women who hail from a variety of countries and are fans of the
brand's toning shoes. The women will be featured in TV, print,
digital and in-store advertising. The EasyTone campaign also
introduces the brand's EasyTone apparel line. The line launched
late last year and sold out within two weeks at some retailers, Mr.
Hainer said. EasyTone footwear uses "balance pods" -- think those
oversized balance balls in the gym -- to tone butt and leg muscles.
And the apparel line uses "Resistone bands" to tone muscles and
The second campaign, which Mr. Prenderville calls a "major tour
de force," promotes ZigTech and includes eight TV spots, as well as
print, out-of-home, digital and in-store ads. The campaign will run
in more than 27 markets worldwide and features athletes from seven
sports, including NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, British boxer
Amir Khan and Indian cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvrag
Singh. ZigTech is billed as "the shoe with the energy boost." It
has a zigzag-inspired sole that Reebok says reduces wear and tear
on shins and propels the wearer forward.
Herbert Hainer, CEO of Adidas Group, said investments to promote
new Reebok initiatives have been a "home run" during the company's
fourth-quarter conference call last week. Reebok sales grew 12% to
about $2.6 billion in 2010. In 2010, the brand sold about 10
million pairs of EasyTone and 2 million pairs of ZigTech. According
to SportsOneSource, sales of toning shoes in 2010 exceeded $1.1
billion and accounted for 5.5% of all sport footwear sold. Toning
sales are dominated by Skechers (60% share) and Reebok (33%).