|New Balance is putting more money into marketing; above, a scene from a new TV ad|
For years, New Balance has been an anomaly in the sneaker world, spending little on marketing in a business dominated by splashy TV campaigns starring big-time athlete endorsers. Now, under a new chief executive, the company is taking a page from its rivals' playbooks. As part of a broader overhaul, New Balance is tripling its ad budget and doubling its budget for things like consumer research.
The first evidence of that marketing offensive will come next week, with a new brand campaign kicking off during the NCAA basketball tournament. Focusing on the company's sweet spot, running, the television, print and online ads use the tagline: "Love/Hate. This is the New Balance." It riffs on the idea that most runners have a rocky relationship with the sport; sometimes it's good, but there are rough patches too, including breakups. In one TV spot, called "Bench," a man who has recently "broken up" with running sees other runners everywhere he goes. In another, "Party," a young athlete returns from his workout while his peers party. New Balance says the campaign will appeal to young consumers by talking to them honestly. The "Love/Hate" theme came from consumer research that looked at dozens of diaries of runners from around the world, says Bill Bruce, chief creative officer at Omnicom Group's BBDO, New Balance's advertising agency. "The unifying idea was simple: running is hard," he says. "People aspire to it because it's not easy." Mr. DeMartini says New Balance's new "Love/Hate" campaign gets the company back to basics by focusing on running. "It's not going to sound like the others". [END] This ad? Are you kidding? All that talk and this is the ad? I think young people connect to those that inspire them...but Nike's got Ryan Hall, etc. New Balance needs to hand pluck some up and coming talent in the U.S. and put them in their shoes, maybe they can sign up David Goggins or something.