Adidas launches jogger whisperer

The brand is today starting a consumer seeding program for miCoach Pacer, a gadget that advises runners about heart rate pacing in real time, and uploads their info on a microsite where they can review their progress post-run.

Adidas is joining the marathon of interactive running accessories this week with the launch of miCoach Pacer and miCoach Zone. The gadgets measure heart rate, distance, pace, calories burned and elapsed time, but what sets it apart from other similar devices on the market, says JP Pineau, communications planner, running, universities and tennis at Adidas Canada, is that it provides real-time audio feedback.

‘The device will talk to you as you’re running. It tells you to speed up or slow down based on your heart rate. Afterwards you can go back to analyze that information,’ says Pineau, of where consumers can then review their progress. Last fall, Adidas president Steve Ralph spoke about the product at AToMiC, MiC‘s new annual forum of advertising, technology, media and creativity, implying that it is one way the brand is using the digital realm to become a more personal brand.

MiCoach does not hit retail stores until March 1, but to create a pre-launch buzz Adidas today started an in-store promo with athletic store the Running Room, seeding the product to managers in 90 locations across Canada. This month Running Room consumers also have a chance to win miCoach through an in-store draw. ‘They’re very influential – in a lot of cases they’re the ones that organize a running clinic out of their stores so they’re reaching a lot of runners in that local community,’ Pineau tells MiC.

Arranged in-house, Adidas will also run print ads in Canadian Running, iRun and Impact magazines, with a drive back to the Running Room. ‘We’re going to communicate what differentiates us, and that’s basically that we are the only device with real-time audio coaching,’ says Pineau, of the message the brand hopes to convey to consumers.