Friday, March 2, 2012

Fitness and advertising: 2 of my great loves

As some of you know, my background is in advertising.  I've worked on some pretty cool brands like Coca-Cola, Publix Super Markets, M&M/Mars, and the incestuous trifecta of Cingular Wireless, BellSouth and AT&T.  I'd like to think that I can recognize a good ad campaign when I see one, and over the past 3 days I have seen not one, but two.  I'm a rather tough critic so this is nearly unheard of. 

On Wednesday, I discovered an Athleta catalog in my mailbox.  I've never worn Athleta before, but somehow I must've recently gotten on the mailing list for "clothes that you covet but cannot afford", because catalogs have been showing up left and right, taunting me with their bright colors.  I poured over the catalog for a solid 30 minutes, dog-earing pages and devising endless combinations of swimsuit tops and bottoms in my head.  The thing that impressed me the most, however, aside from the gorgeous colors, prints and flattering cuts, was the models themselves.  Athleta got smart.  They didn't use skin and bones, toothpick looking waifs to model their swimwear, rather they shot strong, toned, sculpted, highly athletic women who also just happen to have naturally beautiful faces that don't need to be made up with neon lips and glittery eyes.  These women look REAL.  And gorgeous.  And much like the woman I aspire to be. 

So, my appetite piqued, I went online to Athleta's website and clicked the "play" button on the video on their homepage.  I was blown away.  I don't know if it was the Led Zeppelin-esque riff of the music (sounds a whole lotta like "Whole Lotta Love" to me), the beautiful, tropical scenery or the models running, yoga-ing, paddling and biking, but it made me want to get out of my seat, get outside and get moving.  And order hundreds of dollars of clothes (note to self: start playing the lottery) from Athleta.  It made me want to proudly wear their brand.  Amazing!

Check out some of their ads from the "Power to the She" campaign:

And, I stumbled upon this writeup from Adweek.  Maybe my ol' good advertising radar still works after all.

Athleta also has a robust online community and blog called Athleta Chi.  Check it out and dare yourself not to get sucked in.  It appears that they have a sponsorship program, where athletes can apply to be sponsored by Athleta.  From what I've learned about the brand and the philosophy, I am dying to be a part of it, and I'll be checking back every day for news about when applications for the 2013 sponsorship program will open.  A lofty aspiration, yes?  Just so happens that this Mama has had some pretty lofty fitness aspirations in the past and kicked booty at them, so why not?

The other ad that I came across today in my new Runner's World magazine (hooray for weekend reading material!) is this one from Lululemon:

I love this ad because it's talking directly to me.  It put a knowing grin on my face when I read it, and I'm going to post it to my Pinterest board AND to my physical, old school bulletin board hanging on the wall in my home office.  It's just perfect.  As a runner and a yogi, Lululemon hit the nail on the head.

It gives me great joy when I see good examples of my two loves married to each other.  This old ad geek will always have creative flowing through her body, and sometimes I wonder whether fine tuning this body helps me fine tune my creative juices, as well.  Wouldn't surprise me a bit.

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