Monday, October 22, 2007

Advertisement Blog Entry # 3 by Tirabassi

Under Armour Fitness Apparel Ad

Blog Assignment #3 by Rebecca Tirabassi
Shape Magazine, October 2007 issue

The fitness industry is part of a billion dollar industry that has capitalized on selling products and services to enhance a woman’s shape and sexuality. Ads for the next miracle weight loss pill, the most innovative exercise machine for use at home, the gym membership that promises you a better body, and the newest exercise shoes and apparel necessary for more effective workouts daily barrage a woman’s inbox and mail box. And most often, “sex” will be used to sell the product or service.

For this blog assignment, I chose an Under Armour Fitness Apparel ad (see attached scan) in "Shape Magazine’s" October 2007 issue. In my opinion, this ad appealed to consumers of all ages and fitness levels because Under Armour chose (1) “real women” of average sizes to model the sponsor’s newest full-length sweatshirts, leggings, and T-shirts and (2) to highlight the courage and strength of women who were cancer survivors, rather than focus on the thinness of their bodies or sexiness of their poses. By promoting a “cause” alongside of their product, the sponsor was able to increase awareness, provide tangible support in the fight against cancer, and subtly remind readers that exercise is both preventative against disease and a valid part of the healing and recovery process for those with cancer.

It appears that the trends are changing, as this issue of "Shape Magazine" geared many of their articles and ads toward “real women” who more concerned about acquiring health and wellness, than achieving sexy, thin bodies. In addition, many of the ads seemed neutral, rather than feminist or anti-feminist. This advertiser, in particular, found a way to positively communicate to all women that in addition to selling their product, Under Armour was interested in fighting a cause that all women want to win. In comparison to fashion magazines that regularly venture into sexual or political genres with their advertising campaigns, this sponsor’s ad appealed to the woman who wants to live a healthy, balanced life while making a positive difference in the world for themselves and others.
After perusing six women’s magazines for this assignment, it appears that magazines where the focus and/or content of the magazine equals the mission of the sponsors, the ads (1) are more synergistic to the daily lives of women (ex: busy, working women and moms who need practical advice), (2) are more relevant to the true-life struggles of women (ex: fighting against disease and cancer with healthy eating and manageable exercise plans) and, very often (3) use “real women” to sell their products (ex: food products, automobiles, and fitness apparel).
Under Armour made a great impression on consumers (including me) with this positive, inclusive, forward-thinking ad by using “real women” to represent a relevant cause while selling their sporty fitness apparel.

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