UPDATE!: Reebok flacks reassure us that "Framed" is full speed ahead. And, what's more, it's now available on Yahoo!Sports and behind-the-scenes footage has been, er, Flickr'd. Congrats! Now, what about that whole "Your Move" campaign?
For those new readers who walked into this convo like a child wandering into the middle of a movie ("You're out of your element Donny!"), check the rhymes below. Note: There won't be any more Big Lebowski references from here on out, for better or for worse...
Been around the world and I, I, I... I can't find my
Forgive the indulgence of a song we've had stuck in our heads this morning (sometimes shower song sessions can drag into the work world, even for business-minded journos like us!), but it kinda, sorta ties into Reebok's new Freestyle World Tour launch that kicks off Feb. 21. Once again, it's a puzzler. But first, the deets.
Again going after the women's market, Reebok is taking a Nylon-style tour de monde with a new collection of apparel and footwear that will incorporate the particular modes of fashion capitals including Tokyo, Paris, New Delhi (huh?), Madrid, London and New York. Starting tomorrow, the first style, a send up of Tokyo street style with inspiration taken from the city's subway map hits stores. Future releases for each city will roll out as follows:
March 2008—Freestyle Paris, which references the "Can Can" in red, pink and black
May 2008— Freestyle New Delhi, featuring embossed satin and Bollywood-style vibrant color patterns
July 2008—Freestyle Madrid, which references flamenco dancers
Setpember 2008—Freestyle London, featuring an embroidered raven on the heel
November 2008—Freestyle New York, which references our city's unmistakable taxi cabs
All shoes will retail for $85, and the apparel collections that accompany them, which include hoodies, tees, and track jackets, will retail for $28-$75.
The global ad campaign, for which spend was not revealed, will include print, in-store and digital efforts. Somehow "global" just doesn't ring right without the "TV spots" tag, but hey, we're traditionalists. Reebok spent $27.5 million on measured media advertising in 2006, and for the first 11 months of 2007, has spent $16.6 million. Below is a list of the pitch women the brand has signed for the campaign. Full disclosure: We had to look them all up too, so feel free to click the names if you're unfamiliar!
Tokyo—Ai Yasuda Madrid—Bimba Bose
Paris—Yelle London—Nikki Beatnik
New Delhi—Sagarika Ghatge New York—Sheetal Sheth (above, in a spot for the NYC collection)
Since none of the girls here are names that we've heard of—and we'd like to think we're pretty up on things—the campaign is a bit of a puzzler unless they're going for super underground authenticity appeal. But isn't that the kind of marketing that a big brand like Reebok should avoid? Shouldn't Reebok be looking for bigger sales, to grab a larger share of the market and turn around their banking books?
And what about the "Your Move" campaign we heard about back in September, when CMO Uli Becker (a straight-talking Adidas alum), told us the following:
"We need our marketing to appreciate where the consumer comes from and make them king of the whole thing as well," Uli Becker, head of global marketing, explained of the brand's "Your Move" campaign. "It brings the message into one campaign context. Whether we're talking about running or women, we're playing into one equity image of the brand with that single slogan."
For a brand that said it was going to focus on a single, streamlined marketing approach, it doesn't seem to be delivering. "Framed", the "Kool-Aid" collection and, now, the Freestyle World Tour seem diametrically opposed to Becker's statement about a unified message. In fact, it seems like the same kind of mixed messaging that he said, at the time, had been detrimental to Reebok in the past.
Speaking of "Your Move" campaign, why haven't we seen it anywhere yet? Has "Your Move" moved on? Trust that we're on the hunt to find some answers here.