That’s the reaction Reebok’s global head of marketing and brand management wants you to have when you take a look at its new campaign. And, to be fair, that’s completely warranted.
"Sport the Unexpected" is an entire (and needed) departure from previous work you may have seen from the fitness and lifestyle legacy brand over the past few years.
"This is definitely completely different," said Melanie Boulden, who came on board last summer after a stint at Crayola’s marketing division. "I want us to be bolder and not be afraid to shake things up.
"Since I joined the company, the big thing we’ve been zoning in on is the consumer -- we’ve been laser-focused on figuring out who this is and all their different dynamics."
Reebok has, in recent years, leaned heavily into the fitness world. This drive is all about lifestyle and the 20-somethings who dominate that category.
Boulden said Reebok has tremendous global brand awareness, but ask young people what the name stands for and many would struggle to answer.
"They probably don’t know our personality and some of the things that really define us are embedded in our DNA," she explained. "We’ve spent a lot of time understanding Reebok consumers’ lifestyle and we know that they are not only focused on brands that help connect them to fitness, but style. They really want to connect with brands which are engaging, entertaining, playful and daring.
"Because they’re at a stage in their life where they’re open to try new things, they want to explore brands which challenge the status quo and celebrate being unique and a little provocative -- and that’s where we come in."
The campaign kicks off with "Storm the Court" -- a unique film featuring an unexpected, and seemingly uninvited guest who interrupts a pick-up basketball game. It showcases the Reebok Aztrek Double, an all-new update to the brand’s original all-terrain adventure shoe from 1993.
Reebok will introduce ‘Back Where We Started,’ which takes a trip to the past and features one of Reebok’s classic franchise models, the iconic Club C. A third execution will be rolled out later in the year.
Future iterations of ‘Sport the Unexpected’ creative will feature both Classics and Performance product. As a precursor to the campaign, Reebok also recently released a digital content series featuring brand ambassadors Cardi B and Future, coinciding with the launch of two new Aztrek colorways.
The latest work is the last from agency partner Venables Bell & Partners, which was replaced with Deutsch following a review that ended a few weeks ago.
Boulden added: "I want them to be surprised, but we’re also going to intrigued so they want to go and see what this brand is all about. The message is clear: we’re asking you to sport the unexpected -- break convention."