Droga5 takes Under Armour in a different direction with a new campaign called “I Will What I Want” aimed at women, starring Misty Copeland, a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre.
The spot opens with a young girl reading a rejection letter from a ballet academy over a sparse piano track as we see Copeland, poised on her taut ankles in a practice room. “…You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length and bust,” reads the girl. “You have the wrong body for ballet. And at 13, you are too old to be considered.” At this point, the soundtrack is set in motion and Copeland springs to life, twirling and gliding across the stage decked out in Under Armour. It is not until the conclusion of the 60-second spot that Copeland’s identity is revealed, her ultimate triumph over adversity implied.
Copeland, who is only the third African American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theatre, told The New York Times “she never received a rejection letter that so starkly enumerated the reasons she was ill suited to be a ballet dancer,” but that “it accurately encapsulated the resistance she had faced throughout her career,” told from the time she was an adolescent that she had “the wrong body type” for ballet.
We see a lot of ads aim to be inspirational, but seldom do they succeed like “I Will What I Want,” which, unlike most spots with similar ambitions, doesn’t come across as forced or hokey. Coming from Under Armour, it’s an unexpected and refreshing new direction. Along with the broadcast spot, the campaign also includes digital and outdoor components, featuring Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, tennis player Sloane Stephens and soccer player Kelley O’Hara in addition to Copeland. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more