As the date approaches for Roland Garros (the French Open), athletic brand Asics has debuted a new global advertising campaign starring tennis star Gael Monfils.
The ads, featuring the line “It’s a tough game. Go smash it,” depict Monfils in an unusual setting — not the expected tennis court but a gritty urban environment meant to show how tough this sport really is. While the effectiveness of that tactic is debatable, the ads do succeed in highlighting the characteristic athleticism and showmanship of the Paris-born, Switzerland-based athlete, who is currently ranked No. 15 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
For instance, a short 1-minute commercial shows Monfils fending off a group of attackers armed with tennis-ball launchers. His only defense: his trusty racket and a pair of Asics’ Gel-Resolution 6 tennis sneakers, which help him dodge, sprint and leap his way through a danger-filled warehouse. Watch the video here.
Monfils is seen wearing apparel from Asics’ new spring collection, along with the Gel-Resolution 6, a pinnacle model from the brand’s stability line.
The athlete, who heads to his hometown later this month for Roland Garros, said in a statement, “Tennis for me has always been about enjoyment, so I’m excited to offer a different perspective on tennis, with the video demonstrating the required skills and intense product demands. 2015 started off really well for me and I look forward to getting the best out of my game, especially with my favorite tournament — the French Open — starting soon.”
Along with the video, which hit airwaves on May 6, the campaign also includes print ads, in-store visuals and online banners. It was created by ad agency 180 Amsterdam, based in Amsterdam, and is intended to align with Asics’ global brand campaign, “It’s a big world. Go run it,” that debuted in February.