Reebok Chooses To “Be More Human”


Early in 2013, Reebok approached our team with the need to develop a deep, emotional understanding of the motivations of fitness customers and the context of fitness activity in 6 countries. Our team spent 6 weeks on a round-the-world journey to uncover the common beliefs, values and motivators for hard core fitness enthusiasts in order to help Reebok connect with these individuals in a more resonant manner.

At Culture, we believe that it is imperative that brands understand their customers in a deep, relevant, and emotional level. To do so, you have to get out into their worlds and experience life from their points of view. In each market we visited, we immersed ourselves in the local fitness culture and conducted deep ethnographic interviews to get to the heart of what fitness meant for the target customers there. We revealed a series of deeply entrenched core human values that unify this global fitness community.

This work has percolated within the brand leadership since mid-2013 and has found highly visible expression through a newly launched ‘Be More Human‘ brand campaign. Kicking off the initiative at this Sunday’s big game is the brand’s 60-second Super Bowl spot called Freak Show.

“A compelling strategy starts with being purposeful about aligning your brand’s values with your customers’ core values and beliefs. The foundational ethnographic research we conducted in 6 countries with Culture helped us develop a deep understanding of the core values that drive our most valuable customers’ fitness behavior. These insights provided the context for VBP’s creative brief, which helped them in the early conception phases of the Be More Human campaign and Freak Show Super Bowl commercial.” – Nicole Adriance, Brand Communications Manager, Reebok

Reebok is showing that they understand the lives of the people that are out in the world wearing their gear and inviting them to celebrate their humanity through the Be More Human interactive tools on the brand’s website. While fitness and the gear that is worn during fitness activities is obviously a focus for the brand, there is much more to the equation for those who are highly engaged in fitness activities.

Each of us has our own motivations for engaging in fitness and Reebok is inviting us to explore this aspect of ourselves through this initiative. This is an excellent example of a brand showing its humanity and expanding its message to speak to the deeper human truths that drive our behavior.

We were excited to be the partner chosen to help this iconic brand reinvent itself and are proud of the work we did to help guide the brand toward this positioning. ‘Freak Show’ will air during the Super Bowl pregame show (between 6:00 – 6:20pm).

Great work, Reebok!

Our team interviewing 2 runners along the Elbe river in the port of Hamburg
Our team interviewing 2 runners along the Elbe river in the port of Hamburg