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Case Studies


Reebok Sofa Games

Reebok Sofa Games

Naked case study

The award winning ‘Escape the sofa’ television ad created by Lowe Lintas was planned for its first UK airing in October 2001 (later re-run in April 2002).
Reebok were primarily in search of an original piece of communication that would amplify the ‘Escape the sofa’ creative idea and moreover, increase the level of involvement that the ad would have amongst its 16-24 male audience.
In short, make the broadcast message come to life.
Make it memorable. Make it powerful. Make it physically touch people.
From a broader business perspective, it was also important to prove to Reebok’s key sales account - JD Sports - that the Reebok brand was ‘moving forward’. 
However, with the Classic as the flagship shoe, Reebok had accrued issues concerning saliency and audience relevancy. The brand was fast becoming ubiquitous with pub culture and footprints left at the scene of burglaries.
Reebok needed a stepping-stone from the leisure to the sports arena and moreover, communication that captured the target audience’s imagination.
The Reebok Sofa Games
Dublin Glasgow Manchester Brighton
Conceived by flipping sofas in the office to form goals just six weeks before the first event took place in Dublin, the Reebok Sofa Games was media led from the start.
Amidst an incredibly competitive sportswear marketplace, Naked believed that the curation of a brand space within which consumers could physically experience the advertising proposition (‘get up off your arse and take part’) - would provide a powerful way to leapfrog competition.
Tasked at first with an unfamiliar Irish territory, the relationship between Reebok and young Dublin had to be understood in order to gauge how far Reebok’s reserved brand behaviour could be ‘pushed’.
After frequent visits it became apparent that this was a market that appreciated its cultural subtleties.
The ethnographic approach subsequently informed the third-party partner strategy across all four events and the approach to communications: ‘always actively and honestly involve the local communities’.
The communications template was born.
Beyond conception, Naked were responsible for appointing both Poke and PD*3 - along with orchestrating all aspects of the campaign to ensure that the correct tone of voice was delivered.
From the media and PR strategy, to creative and event briefing, through to physically writing the copy across electronic, aural and print media – Naked’s fluid collaboration between agents ensured that there was unity between creative, brand and media. 

The Media Solution
After several detailed field trips, Naked selected cities and sourced venues capable of providing both space and vibe: Dublin, Royal Dublin Showground; Glasgow, Kelvin Hall; Manchester, G·Mex; Brighton, The Brighton Centre.
Sixteen to twenty fours were encouraged to 'Escape the sofa' for seven hours of football and beats – registering for free tickets and/or their 5-a-side team at (Dublin) and (Glasgow, Manchester and Brighton). 
Naked transformed sofas into goals for 32 team 5-a-side tournaments and into urban street furniture for local-pro skaters and BMX riders.
Sofa areas were also created where PlayStation could be played and breakdancing demos could take place – accompanied by DJs/VJs playing dance music and visuals.
From a communications perspective, there were two key aspects to the campaign:
1. To ensure a good cross section of 16-24s at each event - from the football beer blokes, through to the style bar set and skate and break scenes. Naked took a unique approach to each lifestyle group
Marketing the Sofa Games events in the preceding weeks to raise awareness and encourage registration.
For the football community, branded sofas were taken to games for spectators and freestyle football matches in which sofas were transformed into goals took place in city centres (in some cases, resulting in police arrest).
For the music community, local record labels became the music partners within respective cities.
For the BMX/skate community, customised sofas were placed in local skate parks along which they could ‘grind’ – and were later incorporated into the Sofa Street Course at the events.
Finally for the break dance community Naked sorted the moves from local B-boy crews, with local graffiti artists commissioned for the Sofa Break Mat and canvases at the events.
2. Phasing and integrating all aspects of the communications.
The first phase of the communications was concerned with noise generation, PR and stunts – featuring a motorised sofa driving around town, freestyle football matches and branded sofas placed in city centres  – along with ‘recruitment’ sets on pirate radio stations by our local record label partners. Ryan Giggs even appeared on television performing seated sofa keep-ups.
The second phase was concerned with the recruitment of the audience on the web, in-store and through media promotions – taking a more ‘traditional’ urban approach, with a combination of:
- Flyering, inserts and reader competitions
- Email and SMS
- POS - windows at Lifestyle Sports (Dublin) and in-store at JD Sports (Glasgow, Manchester and Brighton) – with the record label partners commissioned to design commemorative t-shirts (free with purchase).
- Flyposters and 6 sheets
- Building drape (Dublin only)
- Local radio co-promotion to drive awareness

Shifted Reebok's brand perception ahead of Adidas for the first time and placed them ahead of Nike in terms of 'growing in popularity'.

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