Ad of the Week: Cardi B takes Reebok to new levels of weird

Embrace it.

A brand’s most dangerous marketing strategy is boring. 

Reebok is anything but.

You don’t have to like this new spot from the fitness and fashion company, but you do have to acknowledge that head-turning-can’t-look-away effect it had on you. And appreciate it. 

The 60-second "Nails" video, directed by the award-winning Andreas Nilsson and created with Venables Bell & Partners, enlists Cardi B and her supernatural fingernails with the sole aim of pushing Reebok’s "Sport the Unexpected" agenda. 

It’s the latest in a series of visually tasty and weird content aimed at fine-tuning the brand’s leisurewear arm. The spots are more than just fun pieces of creative -- they are beating on the cultural drum of today and serve as a warrior cry for everyone everywhere to "live your best life" (or, in adland lingo, "be your most authentic self"). 

Adidas’ sister company is ordering consumers to destroy any and all fear to live unapologetically themselves. Bonus points for having a laugh while doing it. Proof that not all purpose-driven work needs to carry a serious tone. 

"The ‘Sport the Unexpected’ campaign celebrates bold, unapologetic risk-takers who reshape culture -- those who are anything but expected. We could not think of a better embodiment of that message than Cardi B," said Inga Stenta, senior director at Reebok global marketing. 

"Working with Cardi on ‘Nails,’ we aimed to create a moment that is authentic to Cardi while breaking convention and doing something more engaging than a typical celebrity cameo. We took a different path putting her in an everyday-type situation that shifts in an unexpected manner spotlighting the iconic Reebok Club C in a completely unique way."  

The work comes at a time of great transformation for Reebok. Matt Blonder has just been promoted to head up its global marketing efforts after Melanie Boulden wrapped up a 12-month stint to become president and general manager of The Coca-Cola Company’s Venturing & Emerging Brands division. 

Blonder’s elevation comes after nearly two years of work as head of global digital where he oversaw the U.S. ecommerce business and brand’s digital prowess around the world.

Between the launch of its new membership program, a creative agency shakeup in which it named Deutsch AOR, the release of daring new work and even some PR-tear-inducing headlines about Beyoncé, it’s been a busy year for Reebok (is the understatement of the day).

The brand has made tremendous strides in personifying its DNA through bold campaigns which -- as a bonus -- demonstrate true diversity in a really authentic way. This was Boulden’s vision, and is one Blonder intends on carrying.

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