Reebok looks to steal a march on Nike in battle to be ‘female friendly’

Reebok is trying to land a blow on Nike by seeking to collaborate with the female duo behind a high-profile campaign that called on Nike to make its products more female-friendly.  

Reebok:ovewithFire-Campaign-2013
Reebok’s ‘Live with Fire’ campaign will focus on different fitness pursuits including dancing.

The Adidas-owned sports manufacturer has invited advertising executives Emily Hodgson and Emilie Riis to collaborate on potential future designs for Reebok footwear ranges, after the pair launched a high-profile media campaign aimed at shaking up the women’s sportswear market they thought was ‘too pink’

The campaign, which ran under the banner Purple Unicorn Planet (PUP), centred its lobbying efforts on US firm Nike, with social media executions running with the hashtag #PleaseJustDoIt with the sportswear giant’s perceived lack of direct action on the matter helping to generate high levels of awareness.  

Hodgson and Riis have met with Nike to discuss their campaign. A Nike spokesman says: “We have always been and will continue to be supportive of feedback from our consumers. Nike is committed to our sneaker community and will continue to work on offering new and exciting products.”  

Reebok did not respond to a request for comment but Riis said of the invite: “This is a big opportunity and failing to see it means you will be missing out.  

“We want to collaborate with a brand that is taking the shortage in the category seriously. It’s great to see that we’ve struck a chord with so many women round the world who feel the same way we do, and we are driven by giving them a better trainer selection in smaller sizes.”   

Earlier in the year, Marketing Week revealed Nike was looking to recruit women in the creative industries to act as advocates for the brand through its partnership with a London-based parenting network.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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