Misty Copeland. Natasha Hastings. Jessie Graff. Alison Désir. Zoe Zhang. They’re all athletes. Not female athletes—just athletes. That’s a key distinction Under Armour is trying to make in its latest marketing campaign, “Unlike Any,” for its women’s division.
Last August, during the Olympics in Rio, the Under Armour team notices something unsettling. “Every time a woman won, she got compared to men,” Adrienne Lofton, svp of global brand management, said Wednesday at the launch event for the new campaign in New York’s Chelsea Market.
“We had to start thinking about how to change this conversation. Why is there always a framing that when a woman does well, she’s compared to the greatness of a man? We needed to remove gender from the conversation,” Lofton said.
For “Unlike Any,” created by Droga5, Under Armour selected five standout athletes (two of them new to the brand’s roster) who have all achieved great feats in their careers, but have also overcome massive hurdles to get to where they are today. Rather than having the athletes tell the stories themselves, the brand turned to poets (Aja Monet, Kojey Radical, Dominique Christina, Aristophanes and Saul Williams) to breathe new life into these stories.
The results are quietly breathtaking.