January 26, 2016

#BetterForIt: An Inspirational Change

In 2014, Nike launched their largest and most unified women’s campaign to date – #BetterForIt. While the formats they initially used were mostly traditional with print ads, commercial and digital content, the message was refreshingly new, recognising the average woman’s insecurities and obstacles on her way to self-improvement through exercise.

Now, in 2016, the brand has taken that resonating message and put it into a more contemporary format – an eight-episode scripted YouTube series. This is the first time Nike implements this digital concept and the just-released opening part of the series offers insights into the internal struggle many women experience when it comes to working out.

The Situation

With the fitness apparel industry moving faster than any other category on the market; athletic brands are scrambling to compete with each other. Lululemon Athletica has introduced a focus on male customers, Under Armour is teaming up with supermodels like Gisele, and Adidas is aiming for the football world domination. With recently developed campaigns, Nike has also made it clear who they have their heart set on – women.

Women’s Sports Apparel

Most sports apparel companies achieve most of their revenues from men’s business. For example, Nike’s women’s business only contributed 18% to the top line in fiscal 2014. Nike has long sold women’s apparel, but given recent competition from female favorites like Lululemon and Athleta, the brand is highly aware it must step it up in the category—and their latest movement certainly proves they’re up for the challenge.

Nike is taking its competitors head-on by introducing a number of products that target the same consumer that is also targeted by Under Armour and Lululemon. Nike’s Legend Tights pose a challenge to Lululemon, a company whose core product is tights. Furthermore, both Nike and Under Armour have aggressively pushed their own lines trying to capture more of the yoga market.

The #BetterForIt campaign comes as a result of Nike trying to expand its womenswear market, with an end goal of expanding its $5 billion business to $7 billion in just two years.

The Solution

Nike lives up to its Greek goddess name with the launch of its #BetterForIt campaign, aimed at empowering women to reach their own fitness goals.

Nike is already connected to women across all areas of the sports and fitness landscape and has now placed them on the frontline of their attention. They have decided to develop products and services that address women’s needs and desires and the #BetterForIt campaign is only the beginning. Different from previous Nike campaigns, which usually focus on famous and already extremely fit athletes, the idea of this movement is to inspire real-life women to challenge themselves, even when they’re just starting out and feel way out of their comfort zone.

And, of course, Nike delivers. There is a reason they are the world’s largest sports brand.

The Result: Margot vs Lily – A Better For It Productionmargotlily

“Just Do It” is Nike’s quintessential slogan but the latest campaign is refreshingly
different with an eight-episode web series that follows two sisters, Margot and Lily, on their parallel journeys after challenging each other to fitness-related New Year’s resolutions. In the upcoming episodes, both of the women’s individual journeys develop and we will follow them through their ups and downs in their exercising endeavors.

Aiming at women specifically is not a new idea for Nike but this is their largest cohesive global marketing campaign to date. Nike anticipates its women’s business to grow faster than its men’s business, from $US5 billion at the end of the fiscal year of 2015 to $US7 billion by 2017.

Producing an entire web series is certainly an exciting way to advertise workout apparel and it also presents a refreshingly modern view of fitness. We are so used to seeing fitness targeted to women through Amazonian CrossFit girls or Victoria’s Secret-worthy models. Instead, the #BetterForIt campaign celebrates human insecurities and showcases both one sister’s efforts to make human connections and the other’s catastrophic attempt at burpees.

This idea is a spin on previous year’s campaign which showed women doing yoga, running or spinning and at the same time vocalising their inner, rather unenthusiastic thoughts.

The new series of episodes links to nike.com/betterforit, which will feature vlogs featuring specific Nike+ workouts from the show.  Nike is encouraging women to share their experiences on social media, using the #BetterForIt hashtag, and they have launched a “90-day better for it challenge” which combines workouts from the Nike+ Training Club App and the Nike+ Running app. The aim is to get women around the world to begin their own #BetterForIt journeys with the help of Nike. This is all part of the brand’s ongoing progress from using famous athletes to creating a digital network of consumer generated content and engagement, forming a worldwide community of users in the process.


#BetterForIt Breakdown

The core of the #BetterForIt campaign is relatability. A personal journey to fitness usually serves up obstacles in the form of a fretting lack of confidence. This means that the humanly flawed but likeable sisters, Margot and Lily, speak to a universal experience among young women today. The Margot vs. Lily series brings a more intimate and sincere way to approach workout goals where the point isn’t so much to get extremely fit as it is to find the right activity for you and to take on new challenges and conquer personal goals.

While the success of the series will still relate back to Nike+ membership numbers and sales figures, the campaign is mostly about consumer engagement. The true measure is the ability to make a connection and, ultimately, to unite a community of everyday athletes in a deeper and more inspiring way around the world.