Under Armour’s commercials traditionally focus on the gritty, tough side of athleticism, sending the message that wearing their products will turn you into some muscled, gruff super-athlete. With its new women’s campaign, however, Under Armour is taking a different approach.
The campaign began with an ad featuring ballerina Misty Copeland. A pioneer in her field, Copeland is one of the only African-American dancers to be a part of the American Ballet Theater (ABT). In her commercial, she demonstrates her athletic ability and grace while a young girl’s voice reads a rejection letter from ABT; the rejection letter Copeland received when she initially applied.
In the letter, Copeland is told she has the wrong body for ballet and is too old to be considered for the program. She has clearly proved the letter writer wrong as she proudly dances across a stage while her credentials are displayed: Soloist, American Ballet Theater.
The ad went viral, and so did its message, “I will what I want.”
That message is encouraging women (and really anyone) to go after their dreams and goals, no matter who tells you they’re impossible. It’s a strangely powerful message from a company that wants to sell you skin-tight workout gear.
Copeland isn’t the only woman showing her tenacity and athleticism in an Under Armour ad. Hers is just the first in a campaign that also includes skier Lindsey Vonn and supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
Bündchen’s recently released ad shows the model fiercely attacking a punching bag while tweets like “Stick to modeling, sweetie” and “Gisele is soooo fake” appear in the background. The announcement that the model would be appearing in an Under Armour ad caused quite the controversy, which the company channeled into an empowering commercial.
In a statement, Bündchen reiterated the message behind the ad. “This incredibly inspirational initiative serves as a powerful reminder of all the amazing things women can do despite the pressures and criticisms we may encounter.”
“Having the strength to tune out negativity and remain focused on what I want gives me the will and confidence to achieve my goals,” she says.
While the new ad campaign may or may not convince you to buy Under Armour’s products, one thing we are buying is the idea that you can do anything you put your mind to, regardless of what anyone else has to say about it.
Videos from Under Armour