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Marketing Awards Case Studies Brand Strategy

How ASICS increased purchase intent for their running shoes by 79%


By Awards Analyst | writer

December 6, 2022 | 6 min read

At The Drum Awards for Experience 2022, The Park won in the Open Air Experience category for its ‘Upliftford’ campaign entry. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful campaign.

Men jogging

ASICS is an acronym for the Latin “anima sana in corpore sano” or “a sound mind in a sound body”

The brief

ASICS is an acronym for the Latin “anima sana in corpore sano” or “a sound mind in a sound body”. That belief – that movement ultimately leads to happiness – is what drives ASICS. For The Park, the brief was to bring this to life, by showing the UK public that moving with ASICS has an impressively positive impact on both their physical fitness, but also, importantly their mental wellbeing. In doing so, brand perceptions of ASICS would prove positive and sales would follow.

The idea

The Park embarked on a unique experiment to prove that moving with ASICS could lift the mood of an entire town. Through research, they pinpointed the place in the UK with the lowest mood rating. That place was the sleepy town of Retford in Nottinghamshire, with a mediocre State of Mind score of just 56 out of 100.

The Park invited Retford residents to move with them to see the impact on their own minds and the mood of the entire town. They had to convince a lot of people to let us turn Retford into Upliftford. They included Bassett Law District Council, Nottingham City Council, Canal & River Trust, local business owners, local landowners, and Market Square management. This was the first time these groups had been brought together on a project, but once The Park explained our goal of transforming the town into a movement-inspiring gym they were fully supportive.

The Park transformed a mile and a half of Retford roads into an activity route turning lampposts into goal posts, benches into bench presses and bus stops into bus steps. This involved months of preparation, complicated logistics, and extensive builds.

To prove the impact, The Park used the ASICS Mind Uplifter. This scientifically developed web app measured the impact of exercise on Retford residents’ moods before and after exercise. Using a combination of facial mapping technology and self-reported data, they could accurately measure the impact of moving with ASICS on individuals and the whole town. This activity was all captured on film to create compelling content for distribution to a broader audience, thus extending the positive effect and inspiration to move to improve your mood.

The results

Through the ASICS Mind Uplifter, The Park saw a 27% Mind Uplift, with the town’s State of Mind score increasing from 56 to 71 out of 100. It gained 18 million views of the Upliftford film across social and digital channels (37 million digital impressions).

Over 240 pieces of coverage were earned, landing key messages relating to ASICS and the movement. The Upliftford experiment had a profound impact on brand preference, with purchase intent for ASICS running shoes increasing 79% after being exposed to the campaign in the UK.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Experience in 2022. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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