Running hurts. It’s no secret. From elite athletes to newbies, everyone knows running hurts. When the pain seeps in, the mind races with excuses to quit, to give up, to feel less… but we runners power through it to get to the other side, where the euphoric “Runner’s High” is waiting, patiently, to remind us why we keep at it.
All runners experience the pain no matter how long they’ve been doing the sport – there are bad runs, tough workouts, goal races that leave your lungs strained and legs heavy. But there are also amazing runs – adventurous jaunts that make us crave the next time we’ll experience the “Runner’s High.”
It’s those runs, and the blissful sensations that take over when the pain stops, that drive runners to keep lacing up our shoes day after day. We’re all seeking that elusive high.
Enter Mizuno’s new campaign: The Mezamashii Project. Aside from being a fun word to say, mezamashii means “brilliant” in Japanese. It touches on the concept of something being “eye-opening,” awakening a sense of awe and inspiration in your surroundings.
Mizuno says “a more euphoric, ‘mezamashii’ running experience is out there…” and the brand is encouraging the running community to join the quest to find it.
The short video below does a great job of introducing, and showing, mezamashii running:
With this new initiative, the company is hoping to change the way people try on and eventually purchase running shoes. On the campaign microsite, a pop-up window greets visitors who click the “request an invite” prompt with this message:
“We are on a quest to deliver more mezamashii – more ecstatic, electric, wind-in-your heart running. So instead of spending millions of dollars on advertising to talk about our shoes, we’re putting our money where your feet are and putting our shoes on runners’ feet.”
Mizuno believes its shoes are the vehicle needed to bring about more mezamashii running – so much so that it is giving away thousands of free pairs of shoes to runners, banking on the “try-it-and-you’ll-love-it” approach to marketing. In doing so, the company is hoping to build a community of running enthusiasts who will receive inspiration, early access to product launches, and invites to exclusive events.
In the absence of a major advertising campaign to promote and support the project, Mizuno is relying on word-of-mouth and social media to spread the word. They’ve tapped influential running bloggers to kick off the project as founding members, who not only receive a free pair of Mizuno shoes but also have the opportunity to give away shoes to their readers.
I have to commend the team behind this campaign for creating stunning assets that can be easily shared via social media channels. There is inspiring imagery (that I expect we’ll see going viral on Pinterest soon) and short, nicely executed videos.
In addition to relying on runners to launch the project on their own social channels, Mizuno is using its official YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter profiles. There is also a Pinterest account, but there isn’t much content there yet.
Knowing there are always runs that are going to hurt, the message of this campaign is a great way for runners to remember just how amazing the sport can be. We runners get it: we’re all on that quest for the brilliant run, for that “runner’s high.” It’s what binds us all together, right?
- What do you think about the mezamashii project video?
- What do you do when you’re in the middle of one of those “tough” runs?