Marathon season is well and truly under way in Europe with Brighton, London and Paris’ already hosted. Just before, and just in time then, Nike launched one of the most down-to-earth, comic yet inspiring advertising campaigns targeted uniquely to women I have seen for some time. Not long ago in the UK it launched the much lauded campaign but “This Girl Can” campaign in partnership with Sport England. Although inspiring, many of the women featured were already slimmer and trimmer than the statistically average UK lady. This time round, the global #betterforit campaign talks to the insecurities many of us face when wanting to start or continue getting fitter-not just slimmer. One of the 60 second ads shows a spin class goer pumping her legs when a trio of supermodel-esque body types take position and start swaying their booties in front of her. Instead of retreating, our insecure subject sees it as perfect motivation and a “nice view”. In another sequence, a half marathon runner contemplates giving up one mile in but…you get the picture. Many of us I am sure will have met similar scenarios and will laugh with agreement, yet here, Nike is encouraging us to rightly pat ourselves on the back for starting and embracing whatever level we are at.
Enjoy Nike’s inspiration here.
Of course, Nike is not just being altruistic, the women’s sportswear market has huge potential. Nike expects its women’s business to grow faster than its men’s business, from $5 billion at the end of this fiscal year to $7 billion by 2017, according to Bloomberg. Nike claims it already has a digital community of 70 million women who look to the brand when it comes to sports and fitness. There are more female runners in North America on its Nike+ app (54% female, 46% male) and globally the amount of female runners joining the app is growing at a faster pace than men, especially across Europe and China. To this end, the company opened a second women’s-only store in Shanghai at the end of April.
So often I am asked how I have the motivation to do as much training and sport that I do. The simple answer is I have always done what I enjoy and fits into my lifestyle. At school and uni I played team sports but now with my changing shift pattern I have taken up triathlons. If walking is your pleasure then try walking briskly to work or eschewing your car and public transport entirely; if you have always enjoyed shaking your hips at parties then maybe give Zumba or Bokwa boogieing a try. If you are lacking ideas then comment below on what you enjoy doing below along with your lifestyle priorities and I will attempt to give you some ideas of things to try.
So let us celebrate our individual shape, size, skills, ability and pleasure.