Responses by Brien Holman, partner/executive creative director, We Are Royale.
Background: Under Armour (UA) has been known for its innovative performance products and compression fabrics. UA HOVR is its latest footwear cushioning platform—a combination of a proprietary foam compound and an “Energy Web” fabric that provides cushioning and shock absorption with every step. Two styles of running shoes have been launched: UA HOVR Phantom and the UA HOVR Sonic.
Reasoning: We needed to paint the entire consumer journey for UA HOVR. It’s a new technology that Under Armour is proud of, but the actual process of making it is hard to explain. Our first task was to visualize the technology in a graphic way, and then tell a story about how UA HOVR benefits consumers. We structured the story about its energy return and the feeling of Zero-G that UA HOVR provides.
Challenges: The project called for a mixed bag of techniques that had to be managed under the same creative vision, and its final destination was just as diverse across a global audience. There were a lot of plates spinning on the creative side—from the macro CG elements of foam colliding with fabric to the half a city block we built on the backlot.
Favorite details: Definitely the collaboration. Under Armour didn’t come to us as a vendor to execute an idea, it came to us as a creative partner to gather ideas and visualize the campaign. It was a fantastic collaboration that encouraged open communication and iteration. It also led to one of Under Armour’s most successful campaigns, selling out the initial stock of the UA HOVR Phantom in less than five days!
Visual influences: The distinct red hero color of the UA HOVR Phantom shoe. We also used the red “Energy Web” pattern as a visual thread throughout the campaign. It informed our CG scenes, the set design of our cityscape and the lighting of everything we shot.
Specific demands: We had both the creative side and the global market to steer towards. Each region had a hero color or a different shoe to promote over the others, and even different talent considerations for the live action. We had to be conscious of striking a global balance from the beginning, and see it through in every decision we made.