New Balance targets Gen Z and young millennials in star-studded work that drops today from creative agency VML&R. But you won't see the dizzying quick cuts, action imagery or tuneful TikTok-style trappings of some campaigns courting this cohort.
Instead, the sportswear brand opts for an understated, contemplative approach, showing artist/activist Jaden Smith, tennis star Coco Gauff and Olympic sprinter Sydney McLaughlin intensely going about their business.
Scenes of Smith providing clean water to underserved communities, while Gauff and McLaughlin practice far from the public eye, illustrate the athletic footwear brand's "Impatience Is a Virtue" rallying cry. They're all eager to succeed, but willing to work hard and pay their dues along the way.
We also watch a basketball hopeful grind it out like her hero, Kawhi Leonard, while a teenage soccer player, brimming with confidence, autographs a ball for his idol, Sadio Mané.
NB describes the approach as "a twist on the old adage that Gen Z has heard all their lives. But this generation isn't waiting around for someone to give them the keys to entry. Instead, they're figuring out the path to success for themselves."
"They're leading the charge on some of the most important issues of our time, from climate change to mental health and sustainability," the brand says. "They're fed up with someone telling them what they can't do. For them, impatience is a virtue."
Stressing independence and purpose, the work, tagged "We Got Now" and rolling out globally today, represents a step in the right direction, as NB acknowledges young people's goals and visions without pandering or wallowing in trends.
The campaign marks a thematic evolution for the brand, tempering Gauff's next-gen swagger with a more substantial exploration of the human spirit, as we saw in these tales of everyday runners.
That said, NB's not averse to the occasional humblebrag, playfully pitching its kicks a few months back as "The Best Running Shoes on Earth."
Brand: New Balance
Jason Xenopoulos, North America CCO and New York CEO
Wayne Best, New York CCO
Justine Cotter, Creative Director
Rai Halim, Creative Director
Lawrence Staebler, Associate Designer
Tomas Gonsorcik, Chief Strategy Officer
Miriam Raisner, Group Strategy Director
Laura Bevan, Senior Strategist
Andy Wilcox, Executive Producer
Theresa Notartomaso, Executive Music Producer, North America
Alexandra Allen, Music Producer
Kaylie Linder, Associate Music Producer
Music: Wrestling With Elephants by Safari Youth
Chris Furse, Chief Client Officer
David Pomfret, Managing Director
Lucy Bugler, Account Director
Logan Hassig, Senior Account Manager
Editor: Matt Posey
Assistant Editor: Chris Nicastro
Executive Producer: Laura Lamb Patterson
Audio Mix: Rob Fielack
Colorist: Tim Masick
Producer: Kevin Breheny
WE ARE FAMILIA
Executive Producer: Toby Walsham
DP: Massimo Hanozet and Ayinde Anderson
Photographer: Ollie Ali