Why ASICS’ New Social Campaign "15 Minute Weight Loss" Is Taking a Weight Off Our Minds

Jason Papp
Founder & Editor-in-chief
July 8, 2024
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Did you give up chocolate in January, join a gym and set yourself that very ambitious weight loss goal? How is it going? 

A Forbes x OnePoll survey found that ‘the average resolution lasts just 3.74 months. Only 8% of respondents tend to stick with their goals for one month, while 22% last two months, 22% last three months and 13% last four months.’

In October last year, ASICS released a campaign helping us reach our ‘New Personal Best’. It really caught our attention and inspired me to cycle for 30 miles (on a Brompton) for the first time in almost 20 years. 

All too often sports brands are focussed on marketing their products to help you achieve superhuman outcomes. ASICS’ research last year found 78% of respondents don’t find sports adverts motivating and 33% said adverts actually put them off exercising.

In response to the findings Mind and ASICS launched an initiative to redefine how the world sees a ‘personal best’, championing exercise for positive mental health. 

The New Personal Best project captured and celebrated how exercise makes us feel in a unique portrait series – no stats, no times and no numbers. 

ASICS "15 Minute Weight Loss”

Movement is for your mind. ASICS’ latest 15-Minute Weight Loss campaign is the next chapter in their consistent brand messaging.

Center YouTube Video

According to ASICS EMEA, in the last year alone online searches for “weight loss exercises” have skyrocketed by 552%. Spotlighting the toxic, often unrealistic exercise routines and results online the sports brand is, in their words “disrupting social media with an alternative “weight loss” message.” 

ASICS says that “This focus on exercise purely for weight loss is creating unrealistic body standards and impacting mental well-being.This pervasive weight loss messaging is…echoed through a rise in videos on social media and traditional media outlets, with content about “fat-burning” and “quick weight loss” methods up by 296% a year2. To date, there are over eight million posts relating to weight loss workouts on TikTok in 20243.”

Gary Raucher, EVP, of ASICS EMEA, said: “The increasing focus on exercise purely as a tool for weight loss is worrying. Research shows that society’s obsession with exercising for the “perfect” body is adding pressure and putting people off exercise. Today’s campaign is a crucial reminder for people to move for their minds, and not just for how it changes their bodies.”

ASICS partnered up with body-positive influencers to create a series of weight loss videos that show just 15 minutes of exercise can take the weight off....our minds.

The brand quotes a VICE article from 2022, “The cult of thinness is making a depressing comeback,” and the BBC who reported in 2012, “Thinness in media feeds body size obsession, researchers say.”

By disrupting socials ASICS redirected people searching for ‘quick-fix weight loss exercises’ to their content designed to celebrate the mental benefits of movement.  

In response to the campaign Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity at Mind, said “ Definitely feel like 'a weight' has been taken off my mind when I get out and active…The toxic exercise culture is so damaging. Keep up the great work breaking those taboos and body shaming.”

Dr. Brendon Stubbs is Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna. He is developing research in the area of physical activity, sport, mental health & healthy ageing. 

Stubbs was involved in the development of the campaign. “This is excellent. Not only good science but a positive message that can help improve the population's engagement with movement for the good.” He says, “The fact is that weight loss is hard and it takes time. Many people stop exercising before this happens because they become despondent when quick weight loss is not visible, or in some cases not possible.  Instead, if people focus on doing exercise for enjoyment and the mental health benefits, people are not only protecting their minds but are also much more likely to remain engaged in exercise in the long term.”

Selling ‘The Thing’ Without ‘Selling the Thing’

ASICS’ “15 Minute Weight Loss” campaign offers valuable insights for brand leaders aiming to drive engagement and foster that long-term consumer loyalty regardless of the industry you play in. 

By leveraging data-driven insights to address the detrimental impacts of unrealistic standards, ASICS is redefining the narrative around exercise, prioritising mental health benefits. This strategy underscores the importance of aligning brand messaging with consumer values and societal needs. 

Whatever your sector, this campaign illustrates the importance of integrating purpose with product promotion, encouraging a more holistic approach to marketing. By subtly selling the product through a focus on mental well-being, ASICS avoids the pitfalls of overt commercialisation. 

This method engenders a powerful trust and emotional connection, making consumers feel valued and understood rather than targeted, which is crucial for sustainable brand success. And it feels like the next chapter in their overall wordmark - ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body.’ 

Other examples of brands exemplifying this purpose-led approach include Dove and Patagonia. 

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign challenges conventional beauty standards and promotes self-esteem, fostering a deep emotional connection with consumers while subtly promoting its products. 

Patagonia’s commitment to environmental sustainability, highlighted by campaigns like “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” aligns the brand with ethical consumerism and positions it as a leader in responsible fashion. 

Both brands demonstrate the power of purpose-driven marketing in building trust and loyalty without making consumers feel they are being overtly sold to.

Find out more about ASICS’ alternative weight loss message.

Credits:

Dr Brendon Stubbs, Esther Turkenburg, Gary Raucher, Almeri Solomon (Pelser), Christopher Tyrer, Alex Wood, Elliot Riordan, Gemma Combellack, Jess Moore, Amy P., Golin London, Job Bilsen, Mathilde Dalibard, Francesca Wallis, Antea Pezzo, Laura Elliott, Sam Mildner, Tenielle Matthews, Federico Parolin

*Independent research was conducted amongst 2,000 adults aged 18+ in the UK by OnePoll in May 2024.

1Source: UK YouTube – March 2024 

2Source: UK YouTube – March 2024 

3Source: Global TikTok – March 2024

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Jason Papp
Founder & Editor-in-chief