Be more human?

Be more human?

Be more human. Such is the invite from Reebok. And the brand spells out what it means to be human. To strive, to fail, to win, to sweat, to fraternise, to work as a team, to work solo, to set goals. It is about real life. It is rejecting the gloss, the re-touching and the artificial…

Reebok makes many positive points as it seeks to align itself with human traits. The message is clear: through sport and fitness Reebok is urging me to get in touch with what it means to me, personally, to be human. If I do that then I will know that Reebok will partner me.

The imagery is well chosen, there is an inspirational film of athletes going the extra human mile, there is a nice film with a psychologist to provide the independent scientific feel, there is the human score quiz and there is the invitation to reject the glossy selfie in favour of real life human traits. All good stuff but somehow I am left feeling like I have seen it all before and I feel a little short changed.

Brands and consumers connecting on human grounds is very much the way forward. Brands who do this well are shown to succeed but does Reebok make the cut with this campaign? In my view it only goes some of the way.

It makes the connection between human endeavour and achievement in a sporting context but Nike with ‘Just Do It’ and Adidas with ‘Impossible is Nothing’ have been doing this for years. So I am left searching for the useful app, the unique insight, the tool that will help with my goals, the community that can get me in touch with other humans. The kind of activity that Nike+ created in such a compelling way. The kind of activity that is truly useful on a human level. But I find nothing other than an invitation to show something more human and #breaktheselfie on Instagram.

Reebok leads me to water to be more human in my quest to be fitter, healthier and happier. But it fails to place itself at the heart of this humanisation with anything that is useful, long lasting, surprising or different. That’s what true brand humanisation is about.

Reebok has shown some fine colours in the past with its pursuit of individual, unusual sports and its quest to get more women involved in sport. Somehow all this feels more human aligned, more natural and less contrived.