- New Balance is aiming for inspirational marketing in its latest campaign, per a company press release. A multi-dimensional "What would you tell yourself?" initiative is live on New Balance's website, where consumers can write a letter setting athletic goals for their future selves that the shoe brand will then send them one year later.
- The campaign is being promoted on social with the hashtag #MyFutureSelf and through videos on YouTube. The site page showcases letters from athletes who rose to stardom by committing to their goals, including the runner Boris Berian, who used to be a fast-food cook, along with X Games gold medalist Alexis Sablone and tennis champion Milos Raonic.
- Featured athletes' letters will also be published in The Players' Tribune, a sports media platform founded by former New York Yankee Derek Jeter.
A time capsule initiative is a novel way to build consumer engagement and loyalty for the long-term, as New Balance will connect again with letter writers a year after their submissions. Athletic brands, in particular, have been active in searching out new ways to become more than just apparel vendors, encouraging commitments to fitness and healthy living through offerings like Under Armour's fitness platform that includes smart gear, meal-planning apps and personalized stores.
Sports gear brands have a history of values-based marketing initiatives as well. In 2015, Under Armour ran a campaign featuring Gisele Bundchen called "I Will What I Want" designed to tap into consumers’ willpower core value. That effort led to 1.5 billion impressions and a 28% sales increase for the sports brand.
The overall tone of New Balance’s new campaign is positive, based around motivation, and that has proven to be an approach that works with younger demographics. Millennials, in particular, respond to cause marketing, inspirational marketing and values-based marketing, according to studies. A Hotwire PR report from December 2015 found that millennials are better marketed to by individual passion rather than by age demographic, and separate research from the same time by Omnicom Group's Cone Communications found that Gen Y-ers will spend 70% more on brands that support causes.