Ads that make us go hmm: I Will What I Want

August 06, 2014

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Misty Copeland

(photo cred: Under Armour & The Huffington Post)

Under Armour recently released a commercial starring Misty Copeland, a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre. If you ever thought that ballet was not a sport, you may want to reconsider.

In this new spot, Under Armour utilizes Misty Copeland’s inspiring story to push a message about personal strength, will power, breaking norms and transcending boundaries. The commercial opens up with a voice-over of a young girl reading a rejection letter from a ballet school, while Misty Copeland twirls around a stage, displaying her athletic physique in Under Armour gear.

We think that the spot expertly delivers a message, that not having the characteristic ballerina build did not stop Misty from pursuing her dream of becoming a professional dancer. Transitioning their tag line from “I Will” to “I Will What I Want”, Under Armour released this ad as a part of their new larger marketing strategy, which is aimed at targeting females.1 Upcoming spots will feature other female athletes, such as Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, tennis player Sloane Stephens and soccer star Kelley O’Hara, in order to expand their brand messaging to transcend gender.2

We think that Under Armour’s ad cleverly taps their message into the current trends of fitness by using powerful video creative and social media to drive buzz. As their SVP and Creative Director Leanne Fremar noted, “Our new I Will What I Want campaign connects Under Armour to the breadth of women’s athletic experiences and recognizes that their individual stories are central to the conversation.”3 By pushing the hashtag #IWillWhatIWant in conjunction with the video ads, Under Armour is able to extend the conversation in which women are inspired to share personal stories socially or to actually get out and make their dreams a reality.