Nike continues to break new ground with their latest campaign for the Nike event, She Runs the Night. It is an event that aims to motivate, encourage and empower women to provide them with a safe opportunity to run at night, with other women. As one of the most recognised and successful brands in the world, the brand has a lot of power when it comes to choosing celebrities, or 'heroes', to endorse their products. In the past, they've selected athletes such as Michael Jordan, Maria Sharapova and Tiger Woods to promote the brand.
This power of choice is the exact reason I find their latest execution so particularly interesting - the faces of the campaign are none other than Australian fashion blogger extraordinaires, Nicole of Gary Pepper Vintage, Margaret of Shine by Three, and Sara of Harper and Harley. Photos for the campaign were captured by the famous lens of fellow blogger Zanita.
This move to position fashion blog writers as ambassadors for the Nike brand indicates that the campaign is not necessarily targeting die-hard athletes; instead, it is harnessing fashion faces to motivate young Australian women, who might need a little push, to get out the door and running again by making it look trendy and cool. The campaign launched with this video of a woman going for a run at night:
This ad, which starts off feeling a little bit like a Placebo film clip (darkly alluring), ends making the runner feel empowered, as she 'defies the late-ticking clock, and the limits' and says that 'the more of us that run, the brighter we can burn'. Just watching it makes me want to put on my Nike's, go for a jog and feel the crisp evening breeze, the freedom of having the pavement to yourself, and the liberation of being able to run at night, in a tribe, without hesitation or fear.
I am really drawn to this idea for the following reasons: firstly, I am a member of the target audience. I am a young female, who is quite busy, enjoys doing many different things, and despite aspiring to keep an active and healthy lifestyle, I sometimes just feel that I don't have the time or money - or that at the end of the day, I'd rather save money on gym membership fees in order to afford a new dress or accessory when I want them. But when I have tried to motivate myself to go for a run or do exercise, I hesitate and end up not going because I don't feel safe running at night - and more often than not, that's where my spare time falls.
Secondly, I respect and admire the work these bloggers do, and I feel that I can identify with them as a relatively normal girl, who is interested in fashion and self expression, works hard, but at the end of the day, might not have a lot of spare time or motivation to work out.
Thirdly, I think that advertisers using bloggers to endorse their brands is one of the smartest moves they could make at the moment (as long as it's appropriate for the brand, of course). These girls are opinion leaders and trendsetters - if they say Michael Kors watches, Alexander Wang handbags and Isabel Marant wedge sneakers are cool, this instantly makes the products extremely desirable to all of their followers (and they have thousands of them!). I question whether I would have decided Michael Kors was the ultimate brand of watch to own, and saved up to purchase, if I wasn't a follower of these women. And now I might question whether I would go for a run, at night, without my Nike gear on...
She Runs the Night is built on a great insight - that young women often feel they can't go for a run at night, even in their own neighbourhood. If they do, they feel vulnerable and that they may be close to danger. I know that in the past, if I've gone for a run at night, I've tried to make it a quick jog, or make sure I go along busy roads, so I don't find myself in a scary situation. Another element to this insight is that women feel safer in numbers - even just passing another female on the footpath instantly makes you feel more confident, almost as if you're part of a small community, and that you're not alone.
The campaign is being executed in Sydney, with regular training sessions for groups starting at the same point (usually at Nike stores) and running together in a group around different areas of Sydney. These training sessions are leading up to the main race, which will be held on May 3rd at Centennial Park. For just under $100, Sydney women could register to receive a training pack of Nike merchandise to help them train, and have access to a fitness program, provided by the Nike personal trainers.
I hope that, should the campaign be a success (I suspect that it probably is, considering I know about it and I don't even live in Sydney) then hopefully they will bring the event to other capital cities in Australia. I would love to participate in this, so fingers crossed they bring it to Brisbane!
Nicole, Margaret and Sara have all recently been given the opportunity to transfer their blogs to the new Australian platform, Fellt, in a move that will provide their blogs with ultimate exposure, brand integrity, and provide the girls with some outstanding opportunities, such as this one. I've also been enjoying the photos released for the Miss Shop / Pedestrian TV bloggers project, and I look forward to seeing more opportunities to recognise these girls as the leaders that they are.
Images: Campaignbrief.com.au, Youtube, fellt.com/harperandharley, fellt.com/garypepper, fellt.com/shinebythree.