Under Armour’s Campaign: I Will What I Want- A Sheer Masterstroke

Under Armour's "I Will What I Want" Campaign: Empowering Women in Sports | Enterprise Wired

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Women are women. A separate gender, a separate identity. They are beautiful and independent. They can keep a family together. Above all, if they don’t exist, how will anyone come into this world? Due to the male-dominated environment, women assume they are lower in capabilities as compared to men. Exactly that was pointed out by Under Armour. It was presumed by the public in general that it was a masculine sportswear brand targeting only men. The sales figures spoke it out loud. In 2013, the brand had a sale of $2.3 billion, out of which only $500 million came from women’s apparel. 

Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, was not satisfied with it and was ready to expand. The brand collaborated with six women athletes: ballerina Misty Copeland, model Gisele Bundchen, skiers Sloane Stephens, and Lindsey Vonn, surfer Brianna Cope, soccer player Kelley O’Hara, runner Natasha Hastings, and trainer Natalie Uhling. Under Armour worked on each story to run an effective influencer campaign. The women featured in the videos are an inspiration to fellow aspiring women athletes to not suppress themselves due to any societal norms or similar degradation. 

How Did the Campaign Happen?

Under Armour was considered a male-only brand due to its aggressive and manly nature. Before 2014, the majority of the customer base of the brand was men. The above-mentioned sales figures speak that out loud! The manly appearance made the female target market hesitant to buy the product. So much so that, to achieve the set target the brand had to know what women thought of the brand. Here enters Droga5, the advertising agency hired by Under Armour. They invited women to give their opinions on the brand. The responses were too manly, not for me, aggressive, and too testosterone-filled image. In this way, both, Under Armour and Droga5, got a perspective that women couldn’t relate to the brand. No relatability, therefore lesser sales figures from female group. 

Collaborators in the Campaign:

The campaign’s creative team, Felix Richter and Alexander Nowak, came up with an outstanding idea. They got to “I Will What I Want” by emphasizing willpower in a non-athletic style. On behalf of women, they followed a philosophy: My willpower helps me live my way. There was no obligation for me to adhere to any ideology, modern or old. This was the Under Armour Woman’s image they created before themselves and started working on it. 

They collaborated with six women who broke the stereotypical image of women. Out of those six women, we bring you three women’s stories here:

  1. The Misty Film:
Under Armour's "I Will What I Want" Campaign: Empowering Women in Sports | Enterprise Wired

Misty Copeland, a ballet dancer by heart, had defied the stereotypes. She’s only 5’2” tall with a huge bust and a toned midsection. Learning the dance form wasn’t that difficult for her and she started winning big dance competitions due to her talent. Due to a deformity in her feet, she faced multiple dejections, but her grit and love for the art kept her going. A 30-second YouTube ad was shot with the things she was told not to do, while she is shown doing her part effortlessly while the voiceover goes on in the background. The ad became a huge hit with millions of views in much less time. 

  1. The Gisele Film:
Under Armour's "I Will What I Want" Campaign: Empowering Women in Sports | Enterprise Wired

Gisele Bundchen, a social media star, and lingerie model, has faced more trolls than one can imagine or take. Again a YouTube video ad, we see a drenched Gisele releasing her anger on a punching bag with the trolls flashing on the walls. Her raw frustrated voice while hitting on the punching bag creates all the impact of the ad. The Droga5 crew were skeptical about the implementation of this ad, but they also knew she was special. Even if a celebrity, you’re never immune to online or offline criticism, is the message portrayed here. 

  1. Lindsey Vonn’s Film:
Under Armour's "I Will What I Want" Campaign: Empowering Women in Sports | Enterprise Wired

Lindsey Vonn, a skier by profession, had suffered from a serious injury during one of her skiing sessions. As she was too good at the sport, she was popular. But her fans started trolling her by saying will she be able to make a comeback or not, her career is finished, and things similar to it. But her grit and passion made her able enough to come back stronger. The same story is depicted again wonderfully by the Droga5 crew. 

The Impact These Campaigns Created:

Under Armour’s dedication to its female consumers through specific products and innovations has continued through 2020. The company is releasing its women’s HOVR Breakthru basketball shoe on September 17—available exclusively through Under Armour and Dick’s Sporting Goods online and in stores nationwide—and its Meridian + Moisture Infuse (M+MI) line on September 23.

The M+MI line is an evolution of their popular Meridian legging, featuring fabric that helps replenish lost moisture and keeps the skin hydrated longer. According to studies, individuals lose an average of one liter of water every hour of exercise; wearers of the M+MI line of products benefit from 26% better moisturization after wearing for three consecutive eight-hour days. 

The line also features a no-slip waistband and side pockets; two features directly communicated to Under Armour developers by consumers and athletes through first-hand feedback.

“Every project is unique and it isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but consumers and athletes are at the center of our decision making,” said Morgan Goerke, Under Armour vice-president and general manager of women’s training & girls. “The new legging platform with the new waistband innovation coming out was born out of trying-on events with consumers. We found the waistband was a defining factor when trying on leggings, so how do we create a solution for the waistband that stays put?”

Under Armour's "I Will What I Want" Campaign: Empowering Women in Sports | Enterprise Wired

Not to forget the attention to detail by Under Armour. The innovative products they launched like waistbands, side pockets, one-size-fits-all approach, are all masterstrokes by the brand. Magic is created when two giant collaborators come together. In this case, the giants are of course, Under Armour and Droga5. 

Empowering Women in Sports:

One of the most significant impacts of the “I Will What I Want” campaign is its contribution to empowering women in sports. By featuring accomplished female athletes such as Misty Copeland, Lindsey Vonn, and others, Under Armour sends a powerful message that women can excel in any athletic arena, irrespective of societal expectations or norms.

Building Connections by Being Digital:

The campaign made excellent use of the available digital mediums to connect with a global audience. Via sharing the stories of the featured women and visually striking campaigns, Under Armour has effectively utilized these channels to spread its message and engage with consumers. The use of social media platforms has allowed the campaign to reach and inspire a diverse and widespread audience.

Conclusion:

Under Armour, with this collaboration, has left a lasting impact on the world. The contribution of the featured women, the crew of Droga5, and the brand Under Armour have made us think about women’s issues. A new way to remind society to stop the discrimination against women and start accepting them the way they are. The phrase “Teamwork makes the dream work” is very rightly pointed out via this gem of a campaign. We need more elements like these to spread awareness among the society. 

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