New Balance bowing global campaign

Elements of 'LOVE/hate. this is the new balance' will begin rolling out in Canada in early April and include TV spots - a first here for the brand.

The complex love/hate relationship many runners have with their sport is underpinning a new worldwide campaign for New Balance that will kick off in Canada during the week of April 7.

Neatly complementing the corporate brand, the ‘LOVE/hate. this is the new balance’ initiative argues that New Balance products tip the balance in favour of love. Mississauga, Ont.-based New Balance Canada is actively participating in the integrated effort, which GM Lorrie Owen-Turner believes ‘will strike an emotional chord with athletes. It captures the complicated love/hate struggle of runners and shows how New Balance is dedicated to reducing the hate and growing the love of running through innovations in footwear, apparel and equipment.’

The original creative was developed by BBDO New York, while Proximity Canada is managing Canadian creative adaptation, and PHD Canada is handling media strategy here.

Aimed at both performance athletes and adults 25-49 in Canada, the bilingual campaign addresses unique needs in this marketplace, says Owen-Turner. ‘Our level of investment is unprecedented, and this will be the first time we will be leveraging television to help tell our brand story in Canada. New Balance is a brand that benefits from tremendous brand loyalty, and we see a more aggressive communication strategy as an opportunity to expand our consumer base and the relevance of the brand.’

After breaking in Canada the week of April 7, the TV campaign will have heavy emphasis in the April-May and August-September time frame through specialty television, OOH, cinema and online. Five spots will introduce the brand’s visual ‘red world’ – representative of the runner’s struggle, which is filled with temptations and obstacles at the start, but with an end result of euphoric accomplishment. Outlets will include TSN, SportsNet, Space, HGTV, Food, Discovery, The Score, MTV, RDS and RIS.

The campaign will expand into multiple print components, with each ad relaying how specific New Balance footwear and apparel products help tip the balance for athletes in their love/hate struggle with running. These will appear, starting later this month, in vertical running/sports national and regional magazines including Runner’s World, Impact Magazine, Canadian Running Magazine, Running Times, Triathlon Canada Magazine, ESPN the Magazine and Running Network.

The OOH component will focus on fitness facilities to interact with the target demo where they train. These will include GoodLife, Bally’s, Sports Club of Canada, Curzons, Premier, Energie Cardio and Energie Plus.

Online campaign elements will include banner ads and rich interactive elements to communicate both brand and product messaging. Highlights include a homepage flash unit that allows visitors to enter the world of love and hate, while ‘Moments of Truth’ will demonstrate through animation that running gives all athletes a competitive advantage. The Canadian online media buy includes Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace, Gorilla Nation and Google Search.

As well, the brand campaign will be integrated into New Balance events and sponsorships including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the Around the Bay Road Race, the Vancouver Sun Run, the Blue Nose International Marathon, the Royal Victoria Marathon and the Summer X Games. Campaign imagery will also be showcased through point-of-purchase and product displays at New Balance stores and retailers across the country.