Thursday, June 9, 2011

Find Your Strong

by Drew Martin

I typically do not write about advertisements and I know better than to succumb to commercial forces but I am sold on the new Saucony Find Your Strong campaign, especially the picture above. Unbound freedom is a small price from them (compared to a car commercial): a pair of shorts, their shoes on my feet and that gorgeous rolling landscape. I love this caveman-like runner...modern man drumming up his wild side, which in turn is a primordial man running into his future. This picture is the antithesis of the button-down office worker, tamed and domesticated, scurrying to work through a labyrinth of city blocks.

I admit...I have been thoroughly brainwashed/programmed by the ad and will buy a pair of Saucony for my next running shoe purchase just to recall the sensation I get from looking at it. According to, the company started in the Victorian era and yet this is their first national campaign and television spot.

"The new campaign continues to amplify our brand mission to inspire runners every day," Chris Lidner, Saucony's chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

That is so corporate-speak but at the same time inspiration can indeed come from calculated marketing lingo. Not as punchy and commanding as Nike's Just Do It campaign from 1988, Find Your Strong is less of that no excuses drill sergeant bark and more of an internal supportive voice. Additionally, this campaign is directed solely at runners, confirmed by the tagline We Know Because We Run.

The Just Do It campaign was a huge success but I think that catchy phrase is also limiting. Do what? Find Your Strong has a lot of meaning for me as a runner because there is the first read that you are to summon your internal strength but it also says to me to find what events you are good at and enjoy them.

I just read that their first factory was built 1898 on the banks of Saucony Creek in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. The "swoosh" (for lack of a better term) of their logo/design on the side of their shoes represents the constant flow of Saucony Creek, while the circles represent the boulders lining its creek bed.