Case Study: How ASICS ‘Comeback Stories’ leveraged social media to spread message of hope

ASICS Comeback Stories

Leveraging its core philosophy of ‘a sound mind in the sound body’, ASICS initiated the ‘Comeback Stories’ campaign in various phases to keep the brand-consumer engagement going.

The case study explores how ASICS attempted to inspire its audience through ‘Comeback Stories’ launched in phases on Facebook & Instagram.

Category Introduction

India is one of the fastest-growing sports markets and has grown 40% year on year for the last 5 years. There has been a significant change in consumer mindset who now understand the role of sports and fitness in their lives and take steps in making their life healthier.

Brand Introduction

ASICS, a Japanese footwear brand, was founded 60 years ago and is an acronym derived from the Latin phrase, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, which translates to “a sound mind in a sound body”, a core philosophy the brand lives by. ASICS has made great strides in India in the last few years with product availability across channels including distribution, digital, and e-commerce portals, and now has 43 stores across 28 Tier-1 and -2 cities and is on an aggressive expansion mode in the country.

In the current scenario, the brand’s only objective is to help its consumers to cope with the restrictions being placed upon, be it physically or mentally, and bounce back from this phase in a much stronger way. 

Summary

During these challenging times, it is very essential to stay positive and hopeful. To drive this narrative, ASICS initiated the ‘Comeback Stories’ wherein they sent out the stories of athletes and sportspersons who are real people and have a great impact on a consumer’s life.

The intention was to connect every sports enthusiast and fans of the brand to help bridge the gap between them. To help the user realize through different efforts and encourage people to share their ‘Comeback Story’ which inspires the rest.

Problem Statement/Objective

While athletes emphasized their ‘Comeback’ from an injury they eventually motivated others to share their stories of bouncing back to overcome an obstacle from a social POV as well. Therefore, spreading the beacon of hope so that everyone can find positivity and being positively motivated to bounce back from this phase.

Brief

To highlight the initiative of the brand in aiding a consumer to overcome the blues of the lockdown. While the consumption of physical fitness routines rose, it was the need of the hour to tap into the lack of mental motivation and guidance needed to overcome the strict guidelines of staying and keeping everyone motivated.

Challenges

To push people to look at the positive aspects of life during such times. It is very easy to lose hope and get into a negative mindset but to make sure people come out of it and share a positive story to get others motivated as well, was a challenge & the main reason behind this campaign.

Also read: Case Study: A look at Hide & Seek TikTok campaign

Execution

The first step was to initiate the campaign with the comeback story of Cricket star and ASICS Brand Athlete – Bhuvneshwar Kumar – to set the tone for the rest of the people.  

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_XKPFaAf58/

To do so, the campaign made an emotional appeal to the users through Bhuvneshwar’s heartfelt message of his road to recovery post a disappointing World Cup in which he was not 100% fit. His story led to a chain of messages which sparked a roar of positivity through each message. From industry bigwigs to several consumers joined in on the song and bolstered the hope of many others who are currently in a tough situation. 

To take it a step further, ASICS planned a second phase of the campaign in which, Indian Table Tennis Star – Manika Batra and Tennis Star – Rohan Boppana also participated in a Live Session on Instagram to discuss their comeback stories. These sessions helped in garnering a lot of engagement & interest from the TG.

Through Comeback Stories, the main aim was also to motivate the audience and show the real side of an athlete’s journey. The ups and downs of being in a highly competitive environment and how it is completely relevant to the present times and how everyone, just like any other athlete, will need to bounce back stronger & better.

Results

Quantitative:

On Instagram, the campaign posts have an average of more than 45k impressions, on Facebook, its 23K for a static post, and for ASICS Instagram stories garnered 29k impressions and an average of 24k views on Instagram.

Likewise, for stories on Facebook – 8K for views, 270+ engagement

Qualitative:

Many athletes and fitness enthusiast from across fields shared their comeback stories including Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rajat Khurana (MD ASICS India and South Asia) Girish Bindra, Kavita Chand, Santosh Padhi (Chief Creative Officer, Taproot Dentsu), Nikhil Arora (MD & VP, GoDaddy India), Sivakumar Sundaram (Chairman Executive Committee, Times Group), Siddharth Banerjee (Global Business Leader and Best Selling Author)

CMO Quotes

Gautam Raheja, Head Of Marketing at Asics India Pvt Ltd. said, “It has been a tough period for humanity and we all are trying to find our way out of this pandemic. ‘Comeback Stories’ is an attempt from ASICS to inspire people like always to keep on going and prepare for much better days ahead. Lots of people have already participated and the energy is catching up with everyone! We are sure of coming out of this stronger than before”.


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