Under Armour's Great Advertising and What We Can Learn From Them

I consider myself an advertising connoisseur - both of print and motion. As I continue on my journey as an image-maker, however, it becomes harder and harder for ads to impress me. I'm jaded. But that said, Under Armour is really killing it these days with their highly relable and modern ads.  

In this commercial, we see Giselle, your non-typical Under Armour representative (since she is not a professional athlete) kickboxing in an empty room while actual tweets about her are projected on the walls around her. The tweets come from presumably non-celebrity users who feel the need to comment, mostly negatively, from the comfort of their own homes. The annoymous tweets say things like "Stick to Modeling Sweetie," and "Giselle is Soooo Fake."

"Most women at a certain point in their life encounter contradicting opinions, expectations, praise and criticism. Having lived her life in the public eye since she began modeling at 16, Gisele knows what it means to focus inward in order to beat the noise and achieve her own goals," says Leanne Fremar, Senior Vice President and Executive Creative Director at Under Armour.

Under Armour's other most recent ad, featuring ballerina Misty Copeland, deals with similar territory. However, the addition of the social media angle, for me at least, makes the Giselle ad more powerful.

While most of us are not celebrities, we all understand the concept of others tearing us down for reasons we can't quite figure out. The point of both the Giselle ad and the Misty Copeland ad is that despite all of the "noise" out there, it is important to tune that out and focus on yourself and your goals.  

As photographers, both male and female, we face a fair amount of criticism.  Some of it may be direct in the form of comments on social media platforms or criticism from a client, but oftentimes the criticism is far less direct.

Have you ever sent an email only to never hear a reply? Left voicemails for a potential client and never gotten called back? Met somoene at a portfolio review who "loved your work" and then ignored you from there on after?

This is increasingly the norm in the industry of commercial photography. Many of us may have moments where we question our career choices or feel like giving up. Unfortunately not many of us become overnight success stories. For the most part a successful photography career takes many years to build and a lot of backbone to endure the ups and downs.

Now Under Armour may be a big company and this ad is obviously meant to incite sales and growth for the company, but let's all look at it also as a PSA for our own lives. The best course of action is to stay focused and proactive and tune out the haters.

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6 Comments

Scott Mosley's picture

Awesome! I think there might be a typo in the first paragraph*, but thank you so much for posting! I love the projection and basic camera movement in the Giselle ad.
*relable

Anonymous's picture

That Misty Copeland commercial is the first ad I've replayed while watching TV in a long time. The marketing team over there is doing a killer job!

I did the same thing. Just saw it for the first time this evening. Pause, rewind, watch again, find on YouTube and post to Facebook. Then I stopped by Fstoppers to find this article, and read your comment.

Chris Blair's picture

Great post Corina. Trust me, there are a lot of eyes on Under Armour (including Nike).

I saw the Misty ad and thought it was INCREDIBLY powerful. I'm going to put a picture of her on my fridge for motivation. I signed up for an adult ballet class at age 51, and although I took several years of ballet when I was a little girl, I stopped short of getting my pointe shoes. I wonder if I still can... Thanks Underarmour for a GREAT ad campaign and the motivation to do something for me.

Christian Berens's picture

Those are great commercials! Same thing goes for photographers, just because you don't fit someone else's style they put you down and tell you your work isn't good enough. I'm sure there have been MANY GREAT photographers that have been rejected and found their way!