Last week, I attended the Reebok Run Easy media and celeb breakfast. We all gathered at the Toronto Argonauts Rowing club for the presentation. Getting there was a total fiasco. Crossing Lake Shore Blvd in the morning is a nightmare and to top it off my cab driver dropped me off in the wrong spot. I thought it couldn’t get worst, then I find out we’re running this morning. Ugh, not what I want to do at all. Thankfully, Reebok is providing the running gear.
I was given a bag of Reebok goodies (running jacket, pant and a t-shirt) when I signed in. I moved into another room to get my shoes fitted. I sat down beside Jackie Henessey (I thought it was Jill, my favourite D.A. from Law and Order and recently on Crossing Jordan) and said hi. I also cooed at her cute baby. I was wearing the Anita cuff and she asked me about it. I explained the story of how it was designed for me and let her know that she could find out about the designer on my blog I want – I got.
I got a pair of the Road Plus KFS running shoes. I wear orthotics so I only cared about getting the nice looking pair of runners. There were many a fashionista talking about the shoes and some complaining about not getting them. Ahh, fashion people, screw function, it needs to look good.
After everyone changed we gathered outside. I felt like one of the heard; everyone was dressed alike. It was like some crazy running cult took over the waterfront and we were going out to terrorize people along the Martin Goodman Trail. Rosey Edeh, host of ET Canada, led us in stretching and then a short 2K run. The new Martin Goodman Trail and boardwalk along the lake is so incredible now. The path is so smooth because of the new pavement and the boardwalk makes hanging out by the lake a lot more pleasant.
We were treated to a wonderful and healthy breakfast after the run; lots of fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, smoked salmon and bagels. I ran into David and Kirsten from Aiyoku and we get chatting about the club and how things are taking off. They are now open on Saturdays due to popular demand.
The Run Easy campaign by Reebok takes a 180 degree turn from traditional sport advertising. Studies have shown that a high percentage of customers surveyed were discouraged by the sport of running. The pressure to compete was one of the reasons mentioned. The “hit the wall” attitude that is portrayed in the sport applies only to a handful of participants and the rest are struggling to reach an ideal that isn’t achievable. Of course, this leads to injuries, pain and a general dislike of the sport. This campaign addresses the majority of runners. It’s emphasizes running as a social activity and more importantly, fun.
The advertising is pretty clever. It features pictures of marathoners in various states of duress after a race with snarky taglines like “Congratulations. You can’t stand up” and “What are you just doing” (view more here). We also got a preview of the new commercial which you can view on the goruneasy.com website. I think it’s cute.
To emphasize the social aspect of running, Reebok has created a companion site called GoRunEasy.com. It uses Google maps, iTunes and Flickr to allow customers to share their favourite running routes, pictures along those routes and the special running playlists. Currently there are 12 routes for Toronto in the system.
I’m curious to see how this campaign works out for Reebok. I personally think its very ambitious and only time will tell if sales increase. With rising obesity rates maybe this is the right time for this type of campaign. Letting people know that you can run for pleasure might encourage people to get their butts off the couch.
EDIT: That wasn’t Jill but her sister Jackie. That’s what you get for assuming.