Reebok expresses its strong

A new campaign uses real Canadian women to expand the brand's fitness message.


Reebok Canada is the latest brand to pump women up in an empowerment-focused campaign called “Express Your Strong.”

Led by Exacto Communications, the campaign is all about the concept of strength and what it means for women – whether physical strength or the strength to take on the numerous demands placed on their lives.

Focused in part on promoting the brand’s spring/summer 2016 footwear and apparel, the campaign features the stories of six Canadian women who have used fitness – whether, running, yoga or doing CrossFit – to help improve their lives overall. The women, selected through Reebok’s social media communities, are featured in a TV spot, as well as additional social media videos highlighting the individual women’s stories. The videos can also all be seen on a Reebok “Express Your Strong” microsite.

The idea of strength has become increasingly important for the brand of late, says Michelle Lea, VP at Reebok Canada. Fitness has always been an important part of the brand, going back to the days of Jane Fonda workout tapes, but now, getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself have become more core to the brand.

Using real women, instead of high-profile athletes, was particularly important for getting the message across. “Knowing that anybody can do it, I think motivates many more women across the country,” she says.

“Express Your Strong” is an extension of Reebok’s global “Be More Human” brand philosophy (launched with a campaign last year), which is about inspiring people to live up to their potential, socially, mentally and physically.

However, while “Express Your Strong” is focused on the betterment angle, it has also expanded the target beyond what Lea calls the “fit gen” consumer, or someone who is post-university and tends to do fitness activities three to four times per week. “We wanted to dive a little bit deeper into personal stories so that Canadian women could connect to it,” Lea says, noting that the women featured this year are also a wider age range than the prior campaign. “Whether you’re 25, whether you’re 40, it’s a mental age and how you feel.”

The new campaign also involves media relations efforts, including two launch events in Toronto and Montreal earlier this week to introduce the new Reebok product line. The six women, along with other brand ambassadors such as CrossFit athlete Emily Abbott, shared their personal stories about how fitness has had an impact on their lives. The events also involved brief activities (such as a short CrossFit workout) to help introduce women to different fitness options.