NEW YORK — Reebok International is looking to pump up its business with the company’s largest marketing campaign in nearly a decade.
The global campaign, called “I Am What I Am,” is designed to celebrate individuality and stars a diverse crowd of athletes, music artists and celebrities, including Andy Roddick, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Allen Iverson and Lucy Liu.
“We have spent the last four years focused on youth customers and this campaign builds on that, and also celebrates individuality and authenticity,” Dennis Baldwin, Reebok’s global chief marketing officer, said in an interview Wednesday. “It fuses lifestyle and sports, and also addresses the larger cultural trend of individuality.”
While company executives declined to divulge the exact marketing budget, they said Reebok is investing more than 30 percent more this year over last year’s budget. The campaign will run on TV, movies, in print and on billboards in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo.
Created by Reebok’s new agency, Mcgarrybowen, ads are designed to promote the brand and its corporate identity with the Rbk logo. The photos of the entertainers are accompanied by statements from each along with the tag line “I Am What I Am.”
The TV spots show the celebrities in unscripted style. In one spot, basketball bad-boy Iverson says: “I am not a gangster or a thug…and I don’t want my kids to see me that way.”
The campaign will begin hitting magazines in March. TV spots will start airing this spring and into the second half of the year, said Brian Povinelli, Reebok’s vice president of integrated marketing. He said the company is targeting a wider range of magazines and said ads will run in Rolling Stone, In Style, Glamour, Vibe and Us Weekly, as well as ESPN the Magazine.
The campaign is planned to continue for two years, and athletes and celebrities will be added along the way.
While the initial ads don’t feature any products, the campaign will be extended into product categories with specific focuses on tennis and running, Povinelli said.