Asics' "Eternal Run" project has won one of two Entertainment for Sport Grand Prix at Cannes.
The experiential campaign, promoting the brand's Glideride shoe technology challenged runners to take part in a race without a finish line in the salt flats of Utah. Jury president Ben Hartman, chief client officer international of Octagon, said the jury was "blown away" by the work and even though it was some of the least discussed work in the jury room, jurors had "such strong feelings from a positive perspective" about the campaign.
"It took everyone by surprise," he added. "The idea is based purely on joy. After the year we've just had, it felt like we were all running our own race with no finish line."
The win is the first ever Grand Prix at Cannes for Edelman, and comes in the relatively new category, launched in 2019.
The second Grand Prix in the Entertainment for Sport category went to House of Lapland and Africa DDB for "Salla 2032."
Asics is promoting its new Glideride shoe technology with an experiential campaign that challenged runners to take part in a race without a finish line.
The thinking behind the stunt was that finish lines could actually be holding runners back, as people are always obsessing about them and trying to beat their personal best. In this race, held in the Bonneville salt flats of Utah, Asics gave 22 runners a connected Garmin watch, an individual optimal pace to uphold and an open horizon.
Prior to the race, runners had set their own pace over a series of runs logged on Asics' Runkeeper app, and each runner was challenged to run at their own optimal pace for as long as they could. When they fell below it three times, they had to stop. According to Asics, the runners, including former British track champion Liz McColgan, experienced a 24% performance increase as they went further than their predicted times and distances.
The campaign, by Edelman U.K. with production by Unit9, was devised with help from sports scientists such as Professor Samuele Marcora from the University of Bologna. It's being used to highlight the claim that Asics' Glideride technology, which launches later this month, has "energy saving benefits."