Monday, April 18, 2011

Local Advertising: New Balance’s Excellence Campaign for the 2011 Boston Marathon

As any Bostonian can tell you, Marathon Monday, or ‘Patriot’s Day’, is one of the most celebrated days of the year in our beloved city, right behind St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas.  And as anyone who has ever ran the marathon can tell you, completing it, or for that matter qualifying for it, is one of the greatest honors a runner can hold.  The accomplishment is nothing short of excellence.

Excellent Trained All Winter; New Balance
One of several concepts of the campaign, this one depicting a runner
training through Boston's record setting and harsh winter of '10-'11,
along  the Charles' River, a popular training spot for runners.
Therefore, due to the high populace of the world’s elite runners and running enthusiasts alike during April in Boston, its no surprise this time of year is also home to some of the best sports marketing campaigns, in an effort to win over the hearts (and most importantly wallet shares) of a market that accounted for $61M of retail sales in February 2011.

For the past six years I’ve had the pleasure of calling Boston home and during this time I’ve seen an impressive array of campaigns during marathon season. And while Adidas has been the official sponsor of the marathon since 1992, claiming the rights to produce the coveted marathon jacket, Boston-based New Balance’s “Let’s Make Excellence Happen” campaign is also nothing sort of excellence this year.

The excellence campaign, created by Arnold Worldwide, features a series of highly relatable, inspirational images and slogans that showcase the excellence the runners have accomplished in their grueling winter training, along with several landmarks along the popular race route. The campaign is tied to the excellence of New Balance’s newest light running shoe, the New Balance 890.

The images were placed on various high-traffic areas throughout the city, such as popular T-stops and bus shelters. New Balance then did an excellent job of closing the loop by pointing all of the promotions to their digital campaign in an easy to remember URL (, which promotes the 890 shoe, while providing in-depth running, spectator, and visitor tips at the same time.

Excellent Screams Through Wellesley; Excellent Makes Molehills out of Newton Hills; Excellent Loves Heartbreak; New Balance
Several more of the "Let's Make Excellence Happen" concepts on display at Boston's Park Street Station,  one of the 4 busiest stations in the city. Concept #1 plays up the notorious section of screaming girls at the all-female Wellesley College, while concepts 2 &3 touch on the challenge of making it up Heartbreak Hill at mile 17, which is location in Newton. 
Congratulations to New Balance for making the home-town crowd proud and more importantly hats off to the +25,000 runners who completed today’s grueling 26.2-miles.

Specifically, congratulations to one of my nearest and dearest friends, Chris Conte, who finished his 3rd Boston Marathon today as a member of the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge team, setting a new course personal record for himself. Since joining the DFMC team three years ago, Chris has raised over $15,000 for cancer research, a feat as admirable and excellent as the course itself.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent campaign from top to bottom. The branding strategy is excellent and the creative is outstanding. Definitely an addition to the "Wish I'd Done That" file.


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