The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Last April, Reebok kicked off its “Run easy” campaign, using print, out-of-home, TV and online to promote the shoemaker as the everyman alternative to the catering of hard-core athletes by rivals like Nike. Three months later, the traditional elements of the campaign wrapped up — except, a community site Reebok agency Carat set up for the push. There, runners kept coming back to share routes and post messages. Nine months later, they’re still coming — even from places like Australia, where Reebok never ran ads. >>Full Story

Thoughts// Running ain’t so lonely anymore…especially with a social network such as and a community of users telling you where to run anywhere in the world. This interesting story from AdWeek really proves the point that if you build something truly compelling and useful for consumers, they will keep coming back to it long after the marketing campaign and buzz is over.

The article we’ve linked to is really about how “promotional efforts can take on a longer shelf life” in this fractured digital environment; after checking out the site, I had no doubt about why this was so popular. While the site is a bit rough around the edges (mysterious time outs, multiple prompts to log in etc.), I was really impressed and drawn in by the rich user experience of that lends itself to a very intuitive and engaging community site experience. The site allows a user to:

  1. Find a running trail/route by zip/city
  2. See who’s recommending the run (Yes, this needs more relevant info content – marathon runner, casual runner etc.)
  3. Integration with third party API’s such as iTunes, Flickr (and yes, Google Maps) that allows users to share their photos and music

If you’re ever in Portland, come run with me in the Montavilla Neighborhood!

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