US – Under Armour has launched a new marketing campaign featuring an advertisement starring the first African American soloist in the American Ballet Theatre for 20 years, Misty Copeland.
The advert overlays footage of Copeland dancing, displaying impressive physique and obvious strength, with the voice of a 13-year-old girl reading a rejection letter from a ballet school. While fictional, the letter includes actual comments that Copeland has received over the years.
The video has been well received on social media, receiving more than 3m hits since its launch last week.
The ad is part of a series profiling successful sportswomen who have overcome setbacks with their will and determination to succeed. It signals a shift in Under Armour’s marketing approach, moving away from a macho image in an attempt to connect with strong women. Other women featured in the campaign include world champion downhill skier Lindsey Vonn, professional tennis player Sloane Stephens, professional football player Kelly O’Hara and Brianna Cope, a professional surfer.
The campaign taps into trends previously explored by LS:N Global. In our Body Temples macrotrend, for example, we examine how numerous consumer groups are becoming increasingly body- and health-conscious. The ad is also an example of how brands are changing idealised perceptions of women’s bodies, with a new onus on strength and athletic physical form. For more, read our macrotrend on The Athena Woman.