Reebok’s ‘Free Range’ Video: Half-Baked?

In recent weeks, Reebok has been turning heads with its bold marketing moves, from inking a sponsorship with UFC to signing hip-hop phenom Kendrick Lamar and controversial fighter Jon Jonas. So is the athletic giant turning chicken with its latest advertising step? Doubtful.

On Monday, Reebok debuted a video on YouTube called “Free Range.” The minute-long clip, created by Venables Bell & Partners, has a familiar message from the brand: Break free and exercise your own way. But the video’s subject is a little more unexpected. Check it out below:

The clip features a precocious chicken who makes a daring escape from the coop, dodging a farmer, a tractor, crossing fields and, of course, roads, eventually encountering a gym billboard that looks more than a little familiar. The meaning is pretty apparent, but in case anyone misses it, Reebok clears up any confusion with the closing tagline: “Live Free Range.”

Many athletic labels offer similar advice, but it’s refreshing to see the message presented in a new and lighthearted way. All in all, Reebok continues its streak of surprising choices.

According to the brand, the video was timed to hit during the period when most New Year’s resolutions are broken, a trend it blames on today’s broken (and boring) exercise culture. Instead, Reebok aims to promote unrestrained physical activity and a complete lifestyle focused on health and fitness.

“We believe you shouldn’t make resolutions for only a year; rather, you should make them for life,” said Reebok Brand President Matt O’Toole in a statement. “Reebok believes an active life goes beyond physical benefits; it’s about bettering yourself mentally and socially as well.”

As part of the “Free Range” campaign, the brand is connecting directly with consumers to inspire them to make the commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Execs identified people on social media who had expressed resolutions in line with the brand’s ethos and are sending them T-shirts (in egg cartons, no less) that feature their posted resolutions.

What’s your take on the new Reebok video? Do you take offense to being compared to poultry? Or do you find the campaign more fair than fowl. (Sorry, had to!)

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