Advertising/Branding,  Running

Advertising and the Boston Marathon

Looking back at my old Tumblr blog reminded me of how I used to write posts about advertising campaigns that caught my attention, especially if the campaigns were for running or athletic products. It was fun to share my opinions and hear what others thought. So I’m bringing it back to this blog.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Hurricane Sandy, Boston Marathon bombing, advertisements, magazine ads, Runner's World
Simple. Effective.

This ad caught my attention right away when I got the June issue of Runner’s World. The whitespace and small amount of copy drew me in, and I was intrigued when I realized it was an ad by Dick’s Sporting Goods referring to the Boston Marathon bombings.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Hurricane Sandy, Boston Marathon bombing, advertisements, magazine ads, Runner's World
Less in-your-face

The ad is simple, nothing groundbreaking. The runners aren’t all wearing blue and yellow, the copy is touching but isn’t anything that hasn’t been said before, and the logo is small and off to the far right, blending in with the road.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Hurricane Sandy, Boston Marathon bombing, advertisements, magazine ads, Runner's World
Emotional message or blatant advertisement?

What really struck me about this ad was remembering a similar one in Runner’s World by Dick’s after Hurricane Sandy. While both ads were about recent tragedies, the Sandy one had some major differences. There were pictures of merchandise covering the entire bottom half of the ad, and the logo was prominent. The copy tugged at my Jersey girl heartstrings enough to earn a spot on my work wall, but it was clearly an ad for Dick’s.

Dick's Sporting Goods, Hurricane Sandy, Boston Marathon bombing, advertisements, magazine ads, Runner's World
Tasteless or not, I did like the Sandy copy

Apparently enough people complained about the insensitivity of the company to try and make money off a disaster, because Dick’s Sporting Goods’ agency changed tactics for the Boston bombing ad. Where the first ad was tasteless, the second one seemed genuine. Can you argue that Dick’s is trying again to capitalize on a tragedy? Sure, an ad is an ad. But I think it was ballsy of them to run another ad and recover from their mistake.

How do you feel about this ad? Love it, hate it, don’t care?

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