When I started running regularly as an adult and training for specific races and goals, I found myself doing things I would never have done in my pre-running days. For some reason, something that would have definitely evoked an “Eewww” or “Yuck!” from me then, now just increases the admiration I have for runners – runners of all levels, all ages and all shapes and sizes. Runners have commitment, determination and sheer guts in absolute bucket loads and it’s really only other runners that know just what it takes to get to the start line, and more importantly, the finish line. That’s the kind of ‘insider knowledge’ that Adidas banked on when they released their ‘Runners. Yeah, we’re different.’ advertising campaign in 1999.
This campaign, with it’s message that connected with runners’ passion and devotion to the sport, was to portray Adidas as a top performance running brand that could support the needs of devoted runners. In these ads, runners were depicted in activities that non-runners would not totally understand or empathize with. They will bring a smile to your face and I’m sure all runners will identify with at least one of these ads, if not all.
Aren’t they fantastic?
The “Runners, Yeah We’re Different.” campaign was certainly a success. Brand awareness reached the highest level in the company’s history; sales increased in a flat category, and the campaign has been picked up by Adidas International to run globally. The campaign was also recognised by the advertising industry as a finalist in the Kelly Awards (in 2000).