Byline: Leonard McCants

NEW YORK — Reebok will launch an aggressive advertising initiative aimed at women this evening during the premiere of “Survivor Africa,” the third season of the CBS reality series that has become one of the top-rated shows among women.
The ads — part of Reebok’s “Defy Convention” global theme — mark the first time the sneaker and activewear firm is dedicating an entire ad campaign budget for a U.S.-based initiative aimed at women only, company officials said.
The TV commercial spots feature WNBA player Jennifer Azzi, tennis star Venus Williams, hip-hop artist Missy Elliott, “Survivor II” winner Tina Wesson and fellow castaway Alicia Calaway. The ads will run through the 15-week schedule of “Survivor” and then continue in February for “Survivor IV,” according to Micky Pant, Reebok’s senior vice president of marketing services.
Playing off of the 1966 James Brown hit “It’s a Man’s World,” the spots have been named “It’s a Woman’s World,” and show women in typically male situations. In one spot, women are shown working out, while confused-looking men walk around the gym. In another, men become cheerleaders for successful women basketball players.
Simultaneous to the introduction of the ad campaign, which also will include print, will be a element to the Reebok Web site.
The new ad campaign piggybacks on the Canton, Mass.-based manufacturer’s established relationship with the “Survivor” franchise as its athletic footwear and apparel sponsor. Reebok also provides clothing and shoes for the castaways and CBS crew.
During its two-series run, the program has become the number one rated show in the nation, generally averaging about eight million female viewers weekly.
“‘Survivor’ has a huge audience and what we’ve learned is that a large part of the audience is women,” said Pant, adding that the most recent set of episodes set in Australia was the most-watched program among women 18 to 49 years old.

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