Under Armour x Droga5 NY x Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Here's one way to do it your way:
Everyone's story is unique to them and it's why everyone's journey will be just as uniquely lived out. It's how Under Armour is inspiring us through it's newest campaign, "Will Finds A Way" with global advertising agency, Droga5.
This is why I'm a fan:
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. That's one reason. But it's certainly not for the reasons you may think. In fact, the other reason this ad stuck out so much is because of the diverse bunch of athletes that aren't of a certain celebrity status as the Cristiano Ronaldos and Lebron James' of the world. It was refreshing to see newer faces. (Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton was a favorite because his unique story suggests you can succeed in however many areas you want to succeed in. And looks like #HEIS succeeding.)
Now back to The Rock and why he is a reason for this ad becoming #FavoriteAdFriday this week. And yes, it's a personal reason.
As a former WWF fan -- yes, I watched WWF religiously every. single. Monday. night. -- The Rock taught me moves to test out on my brother, he taught me catch phrases to annoyingly say like "Do you smell what [Anna] is cookin'" and he also taught me the eyebrow thing. I can't say these things changed my life -- although I don't know how I'd be without the expression my eyebrow now helps me convey, thanks to The Rock -- but I can certainly say they were fun memories I will forever cherish. No matter if he was 'beating' Stone Cold Steve Austin or getting 'beaten' by him (seriously who remembers this championship title fight?), it was always THE night at my household. The Rock became a part of some of my favorite memories. And I say this because, along with my older brother, my grandmother was also there watching with us. She loved wrestling and absolutely adored everything about The Rock. (I don't think my grandmother ever talked that much trash until Monday nights hit to be honest.) Although she's gone now, those nights play back like a movie in my mind. Dwayne Johnson helped me make some awesome memories and I'm so thankful for it.
Fast-forward to watching him and all the success he has achieved since. And now watching him lead this campaign.
Years ago he taught me silly and fun things, added joy into my living room, and now? Now he's showing me what being the hardest worker in the room looks like. Talk about seeing it all come full circle, huh? I have watched Dwayne in probably every movie he's been in but it wasn't until this ad that I was brought back to my beginnings as a young, curious, and tenacious kid. So this ad really did do exactly what it was meant to do. For me anyway. And I want to say that that "emotional connection," in part, had to do with Dwayne. I've never met Dwayne -- not yet anyway -- but I root for him and am so genuinely proud of the journey he's had the opportunity to live out because although a challenging one for him, it has been inspiring many.
In his words:
“Over the years, I’ve failed hard and had my dreams crushed, which inevitably put my back up against the wall. Through that struggle on my way back up, I’ve learned there’s one undeniable constant to success, and that’s to always be the hardest worker in the room. Our Under Armour ‘Will Finds A Way’ campaign celebrates the power 'will' has to overcome the odds and achieve the unthinkable. I’m honored to work alongside some of the most hard-working everyday women and men—and kids—for this campaign, all of which have risen to greatness through unwavering will, determination and being the hardest worker in the room.”
I promise this entry isn't only about The Rock -- although I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem with that (wink, wink). But back to why this ad wins:
Overall, this messaging is on point. As someone who can't relate to anyone else's story -- especially not any athlete's story since I don't aspire to become one professionally -- this ad still successfully spoke to me as I know it spoke to others. And when a brand can do that? When they can transmit a message that is universally accepted by all, applicable to all, and unique to all? That's genius creativity. And isn't it funny how we are encouraged to do it "like" these athletes...just not do it "like" them? There's a fine line in "inspirational" advertising campaigns where a brand will either inspire you to do what you could do for YOU or tell you what you need to do. It comes down to the creatives in the room; the individuals behind the concept. When you have creatives that are driven by something bigger than themselves, they understand the importance of inspiring from within and not for the sake of joining a movement. People aren't robots, therefore we shouldn't be addressed as such.
Bottom line and what we should all take with us along our journeys is this:
No matter who you are, where you come from, or where you are going, there's a way. And it's your way. So do it THAT way. #YOUWILL
Loved this work by Under Armour and I can't wait to see more.
Sources: Adweek, Under Armour's YouTube Channel