Under Armour kicked off its new multi-million dollar women’s campaign with an advertisement featuring ballerina Misty Copeland. The video of the American Ballet Theater soloist dancing, as a young girls’ voice read a rejection letter to a dance program in the background, went viral. “I will what I want,” the campaign slogan read.
For its next commercial in the series, Under Armour turned to a more familiar face: supermodel Gisele Bündchen. When the company initially announced the partnership, some responded on social media with skepticism: A ballerina is arguably an athlete, but a model? Under Armour embraced the controversy in the new ad, which shows the insanely fit Gisele pummeling a punching bag while critical tweets like “Stick to modeling, sweetie” and “Gisele is soooo fake” flash behind her.
“This incredibly inspirational initiative serves as a powerful reminder of all the amazing things women can do despite the pressures and criticisms we may encounter,” Bündchen said in a statement. “Having the strength to tune out negativity and remain focused on what I want gives me the will and confidence to achieve my goals.”
Though Under Armour has long been known for ultra-masculine commercials featuring football players, the new campaign—which includes Copeland, Bündchen, and Lindsey Vonn—aims to rebrand the athletic company as a place where empowered women can shop for high-endurance and fashionable gear. It’s a smart move for Under Armour: they currently only make 30% of their sales to women, even though women-focused yoga brands like Lululemon Athletic are raking in $1.6 million per year.
Under Armour hopes its new campaign will help it to cannibalize Lululemon and Nike’s yoga pants and women’s sneaker sales.
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