Stirling Sports asks customers to prove the haters wrong

Sportswear retailer Stirling Sports has launched a new campaign with Motion Sickness, celebrating the diversity of its customers and asking people to rise above their “haters” and prove them wrong.

With Motion Sickness working with Stirling Sports throughout the year, this campaign is an important part of establishing the retailers’ new brand positioning – as it is not a product-specific campaign. 

The new campaign, ‘Prove Them Wrong’, shows real New Zealanders embracing their talents despite the ugly things that people have had to say about them. The activities represented in the TVC are not exclusive to sporting endeavours and include music, ballet and fashion design.

The people in the ad share mean things others have said to them, in an attempt to hold them back from their desired activity. These include, ‘too gay’, ‘too old’, ‘too girly’, ‘too brown’, and ‘too crippled’.

They also represent a wide breadth of society, covering many ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations. 

Motion Sickness founder and creative director Sam Stuchbury says this campaign represents the fact that sports means a lot of different things to different people.

“It’s not just about the All Blacks in New Zealand. People come in different shapes and sizes and there are countless types of creativity. We wanted to get a big range of people and activities to give a good representation of who New Zealand is in 2019.”

Sharing not only product stories, but also celebrating the personal stories of people behind sports and the importance of inclusivity is a big part of the brand, Stuchbury says.

“A casual scroll through the newsfeed highlights that racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination are still problems that Kiwis face every day. It felt right to tackle some of those issues head-on,” Stuchbury says.

“Almost all of us have some part of our identity used against us. Assumptions are made, and hurtful words spoken. With this campaign, we wanted to show that for every hater, there’s someone out there proving them wrong.”

Motion Sickness put out a talent call through Stirling Sports’s social media channels to find people for the campaign and had more than 800 people apply. Once that had been whittled down, the team reached out to people who had particularly interesting stories meaning the people in the campaign are not actors, they are real people who use real words they’d had said against them.

“We wanted it to be really genuine, we didn’t want to cast people to play a role. From the comments and response we’ve had online, people really support the message – particularly our target demographic which was the 15-21 age group.”

Since launching last week, the video has had more than 80,000 views on Facebook and Instagram, and has had more than 6,000 engagements on all social platforms. 

The campaign is rolling out on social, on-demand and as collateral for point-of-sale and in-store windows in the next few weeks. 

Motion Sickness did all creative, strategy and production on the campaign. Stuchbury says the team is doing quarterly campaigns for Stirling Sports, and supporting them with social, digital and content strategy as well. 

“We’re figuring out ways to take the brand to the next level. We’ll look at brands at Stirling Sports and work out how we can make them Stirling Sports-ifyed.”

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Caitlin Salter is a freelance writer who contributes to various publications at ICG Media.

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