Brand Purpose Should Transform Lives #IfEverybodyRan @MizunoRunning

When you think of running shoe companies, Mizuno probably doesn’t come up at the top of the list. Mizuno Running recently released a new integrated marketing campaign called If Everybody Ran showing the positive effects running has on your life and our society in general. The New York Times did a great writeup of the entire campaign execution here. Other YouTube 15-second spots can be found here and here.

Storytelling With Data

As branders and marketers, we’ve heard this phrase since the advent of Google Analytics. Showing data is not enough, you need to tell a story with the data to really move your audience and drive decision-making. Daniel Waisberg from Google’s Think Insights blog summarized our views about telling stories with data through his March 2014 post.

What the If Everybody Ran website does well is tying in data sources like the census and creating a story around big numbers:

48M fewer cigarettess smoked daily

63M happier dogs

$25B increase in GDP

How did Mizuno come up with these numbers? Sure, there might have been some really fuzzy math going on, but who cares? The numbers and the taglines stick with you and gives Mizuno the “purpose” for why the company’s running shoes can transform the world. If you are a marketer working in a deeply technical industry, how often do you find yourself translating your brand’s message, products, and services into laymen’s terms for the general public to understand? I think what the Mizuno Running campaign does with with the census numbers is taking these huge numbers and applying a “running shoe brand” filter on the numbers that results in something more meaningful for the average person who is wondering how running can actually change the world; whether it’s true or not.

Shooting For An Audacious Goal

What I also like about the If Everybody Ran campaign is that Mizuno did not settle for a simple message about running helping you and me, but rather everyone. Too few brands think their products and services are geared towards dog owners or stay-at-home moms or the M25-54 demos. What if you expand your target market to include the world? Is that diluting your brand or does the consumer value the risk and boldness your brand takes with targeting everyone? Sure, not everyone wants to run and not everyone is in the market for a running shoe, but the brand purpose is something everyone in the world can get behind.