Cannes Lions








In the United States, branded content is a media vehicle that has only recently been fully considered by brands within their marketing and advertising plans. This vehicle has developed tremendously over the past few years, going from simplistic billboards and animations within a regular broadcast to story driven TV and digital executions that are integrated into a broadcast or site organically.Since its genesis, branded content has been the subject of debate between advertisers and editorial camps. As a result, media outlets have opted to err on the side of caution and created some strict guidelines in working with various advertisers within the branded content space. The foremost restriction is that advertiser dollars are not permitted to fully fund and drive the content. This prohibition is to ensure that any branded content execution also fits into their overall editorial programming strategy. To this end, branded content must be engaging to the viewer/visitor and also convey the underlying brand messaging in a much less overt fashion than an ordinary banner ad or :30s commercial spot.


We created 4 ‘Are You From Here?’ video vignettes to connect with the passion of the target consumer, spotlighting dedication to greatness while eschewing the glitz and glamor favoured by competitors.We developed and negotiated a pioneering imbedded media content tactic. In a media, first we imbedded the videos in-program during ESPN’s SportsCenter within the fabric of the show and with the full perception of editorial content. Specifically, the ‘Are You From Here?’ tag appeared in the ‘up-next’ Sidebar and the host introduced the videos tying them to current stories and, on return, commented on them before moving on.


The 4 ‘Are You From Here?’ video vignettes represented the highest volume of Under Amour references within the digital/social space over the entire campaign. The phrase ‘Love the Vignettes’ rose to 31% across the social media space following the initial airing and peaked again surrounding each subsequent airing date.

As of 12/20/11, the videos had garnered 332,615 views via digital and media with one video being the third-most-viewed company-posted video in Under Armour history. In addition, Facebook engagement generated 130K impressions in just 1 month. Within relevant conversations, 76% expressed positive sentiment with only 6% negative. 11% of relevant conversations included product raves or intent to purchase and 17% spread brand slogans. Under Armour athlete ‘Brandon Jennings’ became a worldwide trending topic after his segment aired.Even more compelling was the fact that professional athletes sponsored by Under Armour’s competitors were gave the videos high praise on their blogs and twitter.Finally, the series generated high praise from a range of media outlets – including CBS Sports, which said, “The company has crafted a true advertising success”.

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