By Carley Williamson


          Reebok currently has a fully integrated marketing campaign, “Live with Fire”, that fits with the brand’s goal of changing how people perceive and experience fitness. By analyzing the TV commercial used in this campaign, the positioning of the brand can be identified as one for the individual who views fitness along with mental, physical and social health as the way towards a healthier and more energetic life. Taking a psychographic approach to segmentation, the target market can be identified as those who are passionate about a healthy and fit lifestyle. The commercial uses affective tactics and the Slice-of-Life framework to elicit an emotional connection when delivering its message, influencing the liking, preference, and conviction stages of the hierarchy of effects.  As a second message delivery tool I would recommend using a high-content magazine advertisement that focuses on rational information through cognitive tactics. This will influence awareness and knowledge of the brand, allowing the consumer to move through the entire purchase process.


          Reebok has very recently launched its new, fully integrated marketing campaign, “Live with Fire”, which includes the television commercial seen above. “Live with Fire” builds off the 2012 campaign, “The Sport of Business Has Arrived”, both of which align with the brand’s mission of changing how people perceive and experience fitness.[i] The campaign conveys that Reebok delivers products for those that embrace fitness as well as mental, physical and social health in order to live a healthier and energetic life.[ii] The commercial illustrates that Reebok is not positioned for professional athletes, rather showing how an active lifestyle inspires people to live with passion and purpose and can inspire others to do the same. It was able to accomplish this positioning by excluding celebrity endorsements while instead focusing on everyday passionate individuals who are involved in fitness. This idea is also illustrated through the variety of sports incorporated, along with  the inspiring voiceover with lines such us “life doesn’t care what you look like” and “life simply asks you to join it.” It shows that fitness is not narrowly defined and instead celebrates multiple passions and empowers the viewer to follow their own.

Target Audience

          Throughout the advertisement there is a clear intent on including females in its message, by illustrating dance, yoga and aerobics as avenues to pursue this "Live with Fire" lifestyle. The target audience is much broader then this however, including both men and women, cutting across multiple demographics and behaviors. As such, a psychographic approach to segmentation should be used to define the target market, focusing on the interests, opinion, attitudes, and values of the consumers. The brand therefore is geared towards those who value happiness and a healthy lifestyle and accomplish this by taking part in activities that they are passionate about.

Message Delivery Tactics

          The commercial clearly illustrates the use of emotional appeal to deliver its message. This is a common strategy for products such as athletic gear, which are high involvement and have a high degree of brand parity. In order to differentiate from powerful competitors such as Nike and create brand loyalty it is clear why Reebok is attempting to create a bond between consumers and the brand. Affective tactics are being used to accomplish this, invoking emotions and then matching these feelings with the Reebok brand. Forgoing the use of celebrity endorsements, and instead placing an emphasis on individuals who demonstrate their passion for fitness in a variety of ways has helped accomplish this emotional connection. Coupled with an inspirational voiceover and music, the viewer is left feeling empowered and with the belief that they too can pursue their passions.  The executional framework that is being used in this commercial is Slice-of-Life. Although specific product attributes are not discussed in the advertisement, it illustrates everyday individuals using the product and how the brand fits in with a specific lifestyle.

           The hierarchies of effects that the advertisement is aimed towards are liking, preference, and conviction. In terms of stages of the purchase decision-making process, this advertisement is aimed towards the information search, evaluation of alternatives, and purchase decision.

What are People Saying About the Campaign?

Expanding the Campaign

          I would expand the campaign by using magazine advertisements as the second message delivery tool, as they are considered a critical campaign element for high involvement, emotional products. Magazines would be an advantageous method of delivering the message due to the high market segmentation by demographics and lifestyles they provide, increasing the return on investment.[iii] Additionally, specialized magazine are very common, allowing companies to target the interests held by their target audience. Specific magazines Reebok should consider placing advertisements in include but are not limited to: Fitness Magazine, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Healthy Living, Shape as well as more even more specialized magazines targeted towards dance, yoga, running, etc. Another favorable attribute of magazine advertisements are the direct-response techniques and tie-ins with other tools they offer.[iv] For example, features such as web addresses, toll-free numbers, and particularly QR codes can offer the reader additional ways to gain greater knowledge and engage with the brand. Furthermore, a magazine can introduce other aspects of the campaign by providing information about the brand’s social media pages, such as Facebook and Twitter. Although magazines advertisements are costly and have declining readership, it is important to remember that they also have a long life, gaining pass-along readership. Additionally, unlike the commercial which suffers from a short life span and channel surfing, magazines are read during leisure time and therefore their advertisements are often given longer attention.

Delivery Tool Objective

          Throughout an integrated marketing campaign it is important to use a variety of message delivery tools that consist of both rational and emotional appeals in order to move the audience through the purchase process. With this in mind, it would be most valuable for Reebok to use the magazine advertisement to hit on aspects of the hierarchy that were not covered by the commercial. As stated previously, the video used affective tactics to create an emotional connection with consumers, influencing the liking, preference, and conviction of the Reebok brand. Consequently I would argue that cognitive tactics should be used throughout the magazine advertisement in order to increase the awareness and knowledge of the brand. Cognitive message tactics would use the rational information missing from the commercial, which will work to stimulate cognitive processing. Therefore, key features of these advertisements should be product's attributes or benefits, for example the stability and support of the new Reebok training shoe, Realflex. Magazines are a great vehicle to provide this rational message, as they are content-rich and can be targeted toward consumers with values and interests shared with the brand. The emotional commercial will work together with the rational print advertisement to move consumers throughout the purchase process, providing individuals with both brand awareness and knowledge, while also positioning the product in such a way that connects them psychologically to the brand.



[iii]  Kenneth E. Clow, Donald E. Baack, and John Peloza: Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications, Canadian Edition with Companion Website (2012)

[iv]  Kenneth E. Clow, Donald E. Baack, and John Peloza: Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications, Canadian Edition with Companion Website (2012)

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