Adidas Promo, Case study RESCUING MEISO RUNNERS by BlueCurrent Japan, TBWA\Hakuhodo Tokyo

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RESCUING MEISO RUNNERS

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Industry Shoes, Sportswear, Athletic Footwear & Accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Japan
Agency BlueCurrent Japan
Agency TBWA\Hakuhodo Tokyo
Creative Director Hideyuki Tanaka
Art Director Katsuhiro Shimizu
Copywriter Masaharu Kumagai
Account Supervisor Wei-Chun Chu, Kazue Aizawa
Released December 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Advertiser: ADIDAS
Product/Service: RUNNING SHOES
Managing Director & Senior Partner: Tetsuya Honda (BlueCurrent Japan)
Group Leader/Account Manager: Erina Saito (BlueCurrent Japan)
Assistant Account Executive: Ryosuke Saito (BlueCurrent Japan)
Vice President: Hiroki Maekawa (BlueCurrent Japan)
Senior Account Executive: Takanari Yamashita (BlueCurrent Japan)
Account Supervisor: Wei-Chun Chu (TBWA Hakuhodo)
Creative Director: Hideyuki Tanaka (TBWA Hakuhodo)
Art Director: Katsuhiro Shimizu (TBWA Hakuhodo)
Copywriter: Masaharu Kumagai (TBWA Hakuhodo)
Digital Director: Nozomi Imaoka (TBWA Hakuhodo)
Digital Director: Jun Tokunaga (TBWA Hakuhodo)
Digital Production: (1-10 Design)
Planning Director: Noriyo Arima (Asatsu-Dk)
Account Supervisor: Kazue Aizawa (Az. Worldcom Japan)
Media placement: Press Release of the result of consumer research revealing the real state of run - TV, Broadsheets, Tabloids, Magazines, Online Media, Trade Papers - 18 February 2010
Media placement: Launch Event for the running speciality facility - TV, Broadsheets, Tabloids, Magazines, Online Media, Trade Papers - 18 February 2010
Media placement: Press release and Launch Event for the digital personal training tool - TV, Broadsheets, Tabloids, Magazines, Online Media - 23 February 2010
Media placement: Factsheets permeating the issues faced by Japanese runners - TV, Broadsheets, Tabloids, Magazines, Online Media, Online Media, Magazines, Tra - 20 March 2010
Media placement: Press release and Launch Event for the online certification - Online media, magazines, trade papers - 20 May 2010
Media placement: Factsheets permeating the issues faced by Japanese runners - TV, Broadsheets, Tabloids, Magazines, Online Media, Online Media, Magazines, Tra - 1st June 2010
Media placement: Press release for the launch of 2nd & 1st grade of the online certification pro - Online Media, Magazines, Trade Papers - 23 June 2010

Summary of the Campaign
In Japan, running is gaining momentum as a national phenomenon. Last year, the universe of joggers in the country increased 12 percent to 26 million. As competition for sales of running products sprints alongside popularity of the sport, adidas wanted to pull up from its No.4 position.
The brand found a winning stride. The first to define what it has coined "meiso (迷走) runners," adidas is helping athletes reset and reach their goals, with the ultimate pay-off in sales as the sport continues to grow.

Through its marketing and PR campaign, adidas set out to raise awareness of and differentiate itself as a leader and the brand most focused on helping new runners achieve their goals. Promoting interest in and sales of adidas products was the end-game.

The overarching strategy was to focus on the exploding "new runner" segment, building a comprehensive information support program to cultivate relationships while drawing the rest of the country into the jogging discussion net.

Through a campaign that included intensive instruction and education for new runners, adidas achieved broad new and traditional media coverage and boosted sales of its running products by 120 percent year-over-year.

The Situation
The popularity of running in Japan has been growing at a breath-taking pace, with one-fifth of the nation now jogging. Participation in the Tokyo Marathon last year was nine times higher than the year before. adidas was running fourth in the race for sales of running gear, and knew the time was right to step up its pace. Critical to brand differentiation was establishing a clear identity as the running authority. As the first to define and fire up the aspirations of what it coined "meiso (迷走) runners," adidas is winning its race with a 120 percent sales increase.

The Goal
- Raise awareness of and differentiate adidas as a leader and the brand most focused on helping runners achieve their goals.
- Promote interest in and sales of adidas products around its core promise to satisfy the needs of each runner.

The target audience were runners in their 20s and 30s, with emphasis on new runners as the largest and fast growing market segment.

Primary research revealed that new runners initially pursued running to be part of a cultural phenomenon. Their interest wanes when being unsure about aims, recognizing the mechanical complexities of the sport: Do I have the right technique? The right shoes?

The Strategy
To achieve the brand’s goals, adidas focused on the exploding new runner segment, building a comprehensive information support program to cultivate relationships while drawing the rest of the country into the jogging discussion net.

To support this broader platform, adidas developed the following strategies:

- Create the concept of "meiso (迷走) runners" as a distinct category of athletes with their own unique set of instructional and support needs. "Meiso" refers to being away from a planned course, unsure about forward direction.
- Conducted original research on the psychology, habits, needs and issues of runners in Japan.
- Retained sports psychology and training expert Yoshihide Takahata as spokesperson to discuss the health and living benefits of running.
- Utilized traditional and social media to help and educate Meiso runners, assist them in moving forward, and enable adidas to set the agenda for discussion around the sport.

Execution
- Original Research on the nation’s running habits revealed specific issues faced by runners based on their experience level. Survey showed 80 percent of the market are meiso (迷走) runners, and that vast majority is confused about the mechanics, including choosing the right shoes.
- Launch Event at adidas Training Facility RUNBASE, the largest running training facility in Japan. Event featured a top marathon runner, renowned running coach, and famous Japanese shoe artisan. Announced were poll results, special training at the facility and other intensive support for new runners.
- Online license certification program for runners wanting to excel was developed by experts, and covered psychological, mechanical, and medical knowledge.
- Media Outreach included runner instruction content and "makeover" case studies.
- Twitter account invited runners to share their experiences, tweet about certification.
- Integration of miCoach (adidas fitness activity tracking system) launch into campaign to add "legs" to program.

Documented Results
- Raise awareness of and differentiate adidas as a leader and the brand most focused on helping runners achieve their goals.
- In five months, we have achieved 350 branded media placements and the equivalent of $6.5 million in advertising This broke all adidas records for media reach.
- Coverage was highly favourable, positioning adidas as leader.
- 4,000 followers of Twitter account.
- 212 journalists and bloggers attended press event.
- Promote interest in and sales of adidas products around its core promise to satisfy the needs of each runner.
- Sales of adidas running shoes and apparel rose 120 percent year-over-year.
- Registration on brand’s running web site increased 150 percent in the first half of the fiscal year.