ASICS picks global creative agency

Japanese footwear brand ASICS has appointed Saatchi & Saatchi as its global creative agency, following a pitch called in December 2016. Saatchi & Saatchi will service the account out of its Tokyo and Los Angeles offices, according to multiple media reports.

This follows the unveiling of a new ASICS global brand message, identity, retail concept and integrated brand activation last month, with the new tagline "I Move Me" and a campaign video spot titled "Wake Up". Both were conceptualised and produced by Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles. According to Adweek, incumbent 180 Los Angeles was not invited to pitch for the account.

In a statement to Marketing, a spokesperson for Saatchi & Saatchi said that the agency aspires to work with the brand through its 2020 Olympic sponsorship and beyond.

The new brand identity is ASICS' most significant marketing initiative in over 25 years, and "I Move Me" taps into its 70-year philosophy of the correlation between a sound mind and a sound body. It is designed to inspire people of all ages and abilities to move more to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of exercise.

ASICS garnered net sales of 203,735 million yen in the fiscal second quarter ended 30 June 2017, a 3.3% drop compared to the same period last year. Net sales for Japan saw a 3.4% drop to 54,263 million yen compared to 2016, as a result of weak sales of sportswear, despite a strong sales performance of running shoes. Meanwhile, overseas sales experienced a 3.3% dip to 149,472 million yen due to weak sales in Europe and the Americas. This was despite strong sales of running shoes and Onitsuka Tiger shoes in the Oceania/Southeast, South and East Asian regions.

The sale of sports shoes accounted for 83.7% of net sales in 2017, followed by sports wear (11.6%) and sports equipment (4.7%). According to ASICS, it expanded its consumer base and improved the value of its brands on a global scale through the launch of value-added products and by developing its own new concept retail stores. This was in line with its five-year strategic growth plan - "ASICS Growth Plan 2020", which ASICS intends to use as its basis for sustainable global growth, in a bid to achieve a consolidated net sales of 750 billion yen in FY2020.

According to Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles director of brand innovation Karl Dunn, the agency wanted to produce something that would enable the brand to "stand on its own". The agency wanted to focus on the fact that every consumer has control over getting more out of their lives, by moving their bodies, minds and unlocking their potential.