Under Armour’s latest “I Will What I Want” campaign kicked off with an advertisement featuring ballerina Misty Copeland. The video displays the American Ballet Theater soloist dancing, as a young girls’ voice read a rejection letter to a dance program in the background. Following the previous commercial, Under Armour turned to a more familiar face: supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
For the longest time, Under Armour has been known for ultra-masculine commercials featuring football players, but the new twist aims to re-brand the athletic company as one where empowered women can shop for high-endurance and fashionable gear.
In the 60-second commercial, the Brazilian supermodel is seen kicking butt. Gisele appears like you’ve never seen her before. She got rid of her designer gowns, and got in touch with her athletic and fierce side. She stands with her fists wrapped like a boxer, punching a heavy bag as they do when training for a martial arts fight, and throwing powerful roundhouse kicks. She looks like she’s training for the UFC.
As Gisele remains focused on her workout, her willpower and determination fights off the negativity thrown at her from social media critics. The real-life insults are streamed on screen. Although some were supportive, many questioned why Under Armour chose her as their model. “Stick to modeling, sweetie,” reads one post. “She’s perfect,” reads another, alongside “she’s way too skinny.”
When Under Armour initially announced using Gisele in the campaign, the media replied with skepticism. A ballerina is actually an athlete, but a supermodel? Under Armour embraced the controversy showing the insanely fit supermodel, that she too can throw a good punch. In Gisele’s own interactive sub-site, where you can watch her doing several different workouts, the real comments and judgements are projected around her. After seeing the responses to the announcement that Gisele will be in the next commercial, Droga5, the creators of the ad, decided to incorporate the comments to show the strength it takes to overlook negative opinions and succeed.
“This incredibly inspirational initiative serves as a powerful reminder of all the amazing things women can do despite the pressures and criticisms we may encounter,” Bündchen said in a statement. “Having the strength to tune out negativity and remain focused on what I want gives me the will and confidence to achieve my goals.”
The commercial shows a new side of Gisele, having lived her life in the public eye since she began modeling at 16, Gisele knows what it is like to block out the noise and keep focus to achieve her own goals. To the world, most people only know her in the context of beauty and show, but she is also an incredibly athletic woman, dedicated to her practices of marital arts and yoga. The campaign previews all of the contradicting comments and concerns people like Gisele are continuously exposed to. But, with focus and determination, and tuning out the negativity, proving criticism wrong comes easy.
The commercial ends with a blank screen and, “I Will What I Want” appears as the ad’s final message. It is a statement that encourages women today to follow their dreams, regardless of the judgement they constantly face from society and the media.