Anatomy of An Insight: ESPN New York Marathon Nipple Protectors

Marathon is insane both mentally and physically. That is the main reason I love it. Although I have already run 13 marathons, I am still scared shitless when I step to the finish line (next time is way too soon).

You also face lots of physical obstacles during the run. Knee pains, blisters, running to the bathroom with acute stomache, sore achilles tendon, having a heatstroke, getting a backache…And this is just a small recap of my trials and tribulations. One of the most annoying ones is shirt friction, which might cause bleeding nipples, if you forget to tape or put Vaseline to your nipples. Actually there is relatively big business built around that prevention.  Sometimes you might still forget your tape, and then you are in trouble. Therefore this ESPN activation from New York Marathon resonated well with me:

ESPN Nipple Protectors
Insight: Nipples bleed when you run marathon. We give you tape to prevent it.

Approach: You differentiate when you are not fighting with every other marketer from top-of-mind. Marathon swag bag is already overtly competed place. ESPN found a place, which was not populated by other marketing messages and provided also something useful at the same time.

This approach reminds me about our most successful festival promotion, when I was heading MySpace in Finland. Instead of trying to compete for attention in the actual festival area, we concentrated all our activities in camping area (where the real party happens in any case). As there were no other marketers or no real entertainment, people did not view our promotion as marketing communications but more of entertainment or service.

Good learning to keep in mind: go where the others are not going. You might win big. (Or the others know something you don´t and understand to keep away from it.) This example proves that you should not stay away from nipples.

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