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Your Shot: New Balance ‘Runnovation’


Arnold Worldwide CD, Luke Perkins, on the people revolutionising running

Your Shot: New Balance ‘Runnovation’

Runnovation, Noun.
'The act of running evolving from Boston to the Canary Islands, from the science lab to the city streets. Running is getting more social, interesting and more unpredictable.'

In its latest campaign for athletic leader New Balance, Arnold Worldwide have quite perfectly documented the real people who are evolving and redefining the now and the next of running. Creative director Luke Perkins discusses Runnovation with LBB's Laura Swinton.


LBB> What was the key insight that drove this campaign?

LP> We looked at the landscape of running today and saw some interesting things happening. Running is evolving from just a solitary daily routine.  People are applying their creativity to the sport and taking it to new places. We looked at how New Balance approaches their own sense of creativity in the service of performance – gleaning inspiration from running culture and trend all over the world – and it just fit. 

LBB> The campaign and all of its various elements hang together around this word 'runnovation'. How early in development did you coin this term? Was it one of those 'flashes of genius' moments or did it take a lot of time to craft and agree on the word?

LP> We definitely had a strategic point of view about New Balance's unique approach to performance before we set about concepting creatively. Runnovation was a handle that allowed all our thoughts to hang together coherently.  We knew we were on to something when we started to push ideas through "Runnovation" as a filter and asking ourselves "is that runnovative?" or talking about "runnovating" things.


LBB> The campaign harks back to the 2011 'Let's Make Excellent Happen' - how has the brand evolved since then? And how does this incarnation of 'Let's Make Excellent Happen' move things forward for the brand?

LP> To be clear, "Let's Make Excellent Happen" is still New Balance's brand line.  "Runnovation" came about because we wanted to define "making excellent" as it applies to the performance runner.  "Excellent" flexes in different ways for our lifestyle consumer, for example. 

LBB> The campaign follows three stories - how did you seek out these real running stories and what specifically were you looking for in the subjects you featured?

LP> We launched with three stories, but we're definitely planning to expand the "Runnovation" idea for some time to come.  

We chose to launch with these three stories because we wanted to start from the inside and expand outward.  So we started with our own designers telling our story in Lawrence.  Then we move to our friend, ultra-runner Anton Krupicka.  He's an incredibly compelling and inspirational person, and he's been one of our sponsored athletes for years. "Runnovation" gave us a platform to tell his story in a whole new way.  And finally, we went out to our own back yard in Boston where our friends at November Project have hatched this amazing grassroots social fitness movement that defies definition.  

Together it felt quite well-rounded for a start.

LBB> I guess one of the interesting challenges with a campaign like this is balancing the cutting edge technology and elite athleticism with something that is accessible for amateur, grassroots runners - how did you address this?

LP> With both "Let's Make Excellent Happen" and "Runnovation" we've always consciously constructed the ideas to flex along a continuum of athletic ability.  The important thing in each case is forward momentum.  It's about the notion that wherever you stand right now as an athlete, or wherever we stand right now as a company in service of your performance, we can become something more.  And New Balance and you can do it together.


LBB> What were the biggest challenges you faced in the execution of the campaign and how did you overcome them?

LP> In many ways, the Runnovation effort was the production solution for us.  It's based on content grabs.  So rather than executing ad concepts with a limited shelf life, we're trying to create a bank of assets – film, photography, reportage, etc. that can be reallocated and repurposed for different media and for various market needs around the world.

We're counting on those global markets to help us feed the Runnovation idea as well – capturing global content.  New Balance is involved in so many amazing properties events, creative endeavors and so forth, everywhere.  Runnovation gives us a unified platform so those various markets can share assets and make it all feel larger.  

We're only just beginning of course, but we're extremely excited to see if the plan pans out.



Chief Creative Officer: Pete Favat 
Creative Director: Mike Howard and Luke Perkins 
Art Director: Sara Goldsmith 
Copywriter: Kevin Goff 
Broadcast Producer: Jamie Guild 
Broadcast Assistant Producer: Claire Townsend 
Print Producer: Diane Brito 
Art Producers: Andrea Ricker, Sarah Doggett and Kersten Vasey 
Business Affairs: Anne Joynt 
Planners: Karin Wood and Angus McCoubrey 
Marketing Producers: Todd Sperry, Maggie Smith and Will Gurney   

TV Production Company: Union HZ 
Production Company Executive Producer: Jeremy Taches 
Editorial Company: Edit Bar 
Post Production: Brickyard   

Photographer:  Nick Laham 
Print Production Company:  Point Productions

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LBB Editorial, Wed, 24 Jul 2013 16:14:59 GMT