The ‘Journey of Improvement’ campaign launches across Europe later this month (31 January) and centres on a TV campaign promoting a Facebook app that links to the brand’s existing online training tool My Asics.
The app sends motivational messages to users from brand ambassadors and friends as well as providing hints and tips on the training programmes hosted on its own branded running service. Personalised running plans are also posted into Facebook’s timelines of users.
It is hoped the social media drive will help raise the profile of the brand in the UK after its director of marketing for Europe Michael Price admitted to Marketing Week last year brand perception levels in the UK are lower than they are in places like Germany and the Netherlands.
Print adverts starring brand ambassadors such as extreme trail runner Christian Schiester will support the above-the-line drive alongside six short documentary films featuring elite and amateur athletes.
The advertising campaign is also trying to strike a chord with female athletes and to boost awareness for its women’s performance apparel range. It is a strategy set to be utilised by rival sportswear companies this year with brands including Nike and Under Armour readying high-profile campaigns to increase their share of the fast-growing sub-category.
Separately, the brand is looking to boost digital revenues through the launch of its first ever e-commerce platform later this year. It reported sales of 128bn yen (973.7m) for the year to September 30, a 2.2 per cent increase on the previous year. The company said the growth was driven by sales outside its home market of Japan, which increased 3.1 per cent during the same period to 86bn yen (£654.8m).