afaqs!

Reebok Reezig - The easy tone

By Anushree Bhattacharyya, Devina Joshi and Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, New Delhi and Mumbai | In Advertising | February 07, 2011
In a category dominated by the 'winning is everything' positioning, it isn't easy to stand out. Reebok's attitude towards sports and fitness, in the recent past, has been about rediscovering one's love for sports, and the brand's approach towards sports is, according to its brand managers, 'fun, bold and provocative'.

In a category dominated by the 'winning is everything' positioning, it isn't easy to stand out. Reebok's attitude towards sports and fitness, in the recent past, has been about rediscovering one's love for sports, and the brand's approach towards sports is, according to its brand managers, 'fun, bold and provocative'.

Two years ago, Reebok went in for a soft launch of Easy Tone - a range of sports shoes for women that help in toning the body (by offering the right amount of resistance while walking), but the product was launched completely only in 2010. Sports shoes for women is a particularly challenging category in India, as women would rather splurge on a pair of stilettos rather than spend Rs 5,000 in buying expensive sports shoes - or so went popular opinion. However, the pilot phase revealed that in Tier 2 and 3 markets, there was an overwhelming response to such shoes. Reebok launched some provocative hoarding ads that showed well-toned butts with the use of Easy Tone shoes.

Digital as a medium helped in popularising Easy Tone more than traditional media. Apart from the usual banners and pop-ups, Reebok created a community of fitness instructors and trainers on Facebook and launched applications such as TMS (Tone Messaging Service) which was a language comprising 'butt pictures' as the alphabets, to get people talking about it. User-generated content was also encouraged wherein people got to upload their videos of their own 'butt dances'. This became a kind of hilarious section for visitors and virals were born of it.

For Reezig, the story is a little different. Animated TVCs were launched which had cricketers M S Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh at the end of it. Dhoni, for instance, was made to deliver the line 'Energy drink for your feet'. The whole idea was to bring freshness into the category as, generally, the use of sports stars in such commercials is mainly the serious variety, either with a success story encapsulated in 30 seconds, or training secrets/tips dished out before viewers. According to Reebok executives, such a TVC helped break clutter and move away from the typical 'training' led advertising, for a shoe range that costs Rs 7,000-8,000.

Mall activations were employed to induce trials. Obstacle courses were introduced in malls across 15 cities where running was encouraged. This was usually done in front of a Reebok store in the mall, to allow people to check out the shoe. Outdoor hoardings too were utilised in a unique manner - hoardings carrying 16x8 feet replicas of the Reezig shoe were placed in strategic locations - in 40 towns. The replicas were fabricated using high-end moulded fibre. The creative read, 'Reezig - The energy drink for your feet'.

The main objective of the campaign was to use the uniqueness of the iconic 'geometric zig zag shape' of the outsole to reinforce the benefit of the Zigtech technology, signifying the importance of reducing the wear and tear of the leg muscles by up to 20 per cent. Print ads to that effect were also released. The key challenge for both these ranges was to promote bold looking shoes at expensive price points, and the team managed to make some noise in this regard.

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