Last time we covered Asics’ ‘Stop at Never’ campaign, Vitro was running tests on the brand’s latest shoes. An athlete played tennis suspended upside down from a crane (proving Asics are form fitting), while a different shoe withstood the pressure of an industrial jackhammer. In the latest ads from the campaign, Vitro’s veered slightly from their initial track.

Don’t get me wrong, Asics is still completing fun, gravity-defying challenges. In these recent videos, though, it’s not always clear what aspect of the shoe we’re supposed to appreciate. In one, athletes create sidewalk art by running in neon paint. Though the spot successfully emphasizes a neighborhood athlete feel, we’re left wondering what actually sets this shoe apart. Lighter and faster? Isn’t that the message of every running sneak? Another video compares a volleyball player to a grasshopper and a tiger. The animal-athlete thing feels familiar.

This series does best when it’s bizarre. A soccer player dribbles his way through a bespoke “urban treadmill” and a block-breaking martial arts master succumbs to a squeaky shoe. While they don’t always get it right, Asics’ latest tests show that if an athletic brand opts to detour from the typical run faster, harder, be a superhuman strategy, they’re better off highlighting the character-filled and unexpected.

Credits after the jump.

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