A lot of companies have launched ads lately supporting strong, independent, and empowered woman (GoldieBlox, Always, HelloFlo, and Verizon come to mind). The latest to join their ranks is athletic apparel brand Under Armour with its “I Will What I Want,” campaign. This is the company’s most expansive global women’s marketing campaign to date and it features world champion downhill skier Lindsey Vonn, tennis star Sloane Stephens, American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland, and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team player Kelley O’Hara.
We know Under Armour likes strong, tough women – they even
ripped off released a “Pretty Tough” graphic tee this year (buy ours however – it’s much nicer :))
Under Armour’s senior vice president and executive creative director Leanne Fremar (formerly Theory’s creative director) says Copeland was her number one pick to front Under Armour’s women’s campaign. “I thought [Copeland] encapsulated a really modern expression of what it means to be physical and athletic and beautiful and unique and a rule breaker and a game changer all in one person.”
Fremar, a noted ballet fan, was inspired by Copeland’s backstory as well. Inspired by gymnast Nadia Comaneci, Copeland signed up for a dance class at a local Boys & Girls Club when she was a young teen and fell in love with ballet. At 24, she became only the second black soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre, the most prestigious company in North America. She has also performed with Prince, appeared in ads for Dr. Pepper and BlackBerry, served as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and has written a popular memoir (released earlier this year) and an upcoming children’s book about her most famous role in The Firebird. Copeland’s commercial went online today and quickly went viral. The ad opens with a letter being read aloud by a young girl:
Dear Candidate, Thank you for your application to our ballet academy. Unfortunately you have not been accepted. You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length, and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet, and at 13, you are too old to be considered.
It’s a composite of all the rejection letters Copeland received over the years. And look at her now. Seriously, look at her calves. She definitely willed what she wanted. Do you love this ad as much as we do??