Sportswear Ads Ranked!

This week, it’s all about Sportswear Ads! Welcome to our official Sportswear Ads Tier Ranking. Here’s the full video. 

What is going on? My name is Gabe, and we’re about to rank sportswear ads from these nine different sportswear companies.

Now, just a heads up, there is going to be a lot of hate here, and you may not be aware. Why are we hating? We’re not rating on brand, we’re rating on acquisition — the likelihood that when someone sees this, they’re actually going to click through and purchase that product. Not branding, where it’s more of a larger story.

We’re purely focused on acquisition. Some of these videos are made for branding. So we’re going to call out the better practices for acquisition, if you’re looking to build those campaigns.

Sportswear Ads: Tier List

We’re going to rate them into four different tiers. The top tier, the best tier, is Instagram Famous. If they’re doing well, this is the type of sportswear that you’re only going to wear if you’re trying to floss it on Instagram to get famous. The next tier is No Sweat, followed by Breathable. Then at the bottom tier is that 2006 Camp Volunteer T-Shirt that you have with holes in it, but you need to do some type of workout. That’s the only shirt that you’ve got so I guess it’ll make do. Let’s get into the videos!


The first one is going to be Adidas. I do like the background where they’re able to show a little bit of the science. You’re able to get a bit more conceptualization and you’re showing the shoe which is nice. You’re showing the variety and you’re giving a bit more than just a typical image video.

It is definitively not your 2006 Camp Volunteer. It’s good. It does the job. It’s probably more on the top tier of Breathable, but it’s definitely not a compelling story.

Columbia Sportswear

Now let’s go into Columbia. “Kick some boots.” I love this video. You get strong product visualization. You get the visualization of the benefit of what this boot is used for. It’s great for snow. You’re seeing the environment and you’re seeing people laugh. I think there’s some coffee there too. Oh no, that’s not coffee, that was just a coat. Wait, I can’t tell what they’re drinking.

Anyways, it’s about living the environment and people having fun with friends. That is not only a great visualization for acquisition, but it’s a great blend with branding as well. Really strong branding.

These boots, if you’re flossing them (I know flossing is a little bit of an old school term at least the way that I’m using it, I’m not talking about the dance), are definitely going to be able to make you Instagram Famous. Cool.


Let’s get into Fila. By the way, all this is consumed with the sound off because that’s predominantly how they’re consumed on social feeds. Although that is different with Instagram, we’re still reading these with the sound off.

Those are pretty small captions, because there’s a lot going on. You’re not telling me anything about the product. I know at the very end, they talk about color theory. That would’ve been actually pretty cool, if they led with the color theory. Instead, they lead with a spokesperson which is brand and they’re not giving a strong, compelling message.

Sorry, Fila. Looks great. Maybe it’s good for your branding but it ain’t good for your acquisition.


All right, Lululemon. Let us get in. Here, they’re talking about their After Pay product as well. That is more of the benefits that they’re looking to be able to put forth. “Presence makes possible.” “Pace with your payments with After Pay.”

Cool blend, but they don’t tell me much about their product. They still get a visualization so I put that near the end of Breathable. There’s really nothing special that stands out about the product. You’re just showing a woman running in what is presumed your clothing. Cool. Doesn’t really tell me a difference, or what makes you different.

New Balance

Let’s get into New Balance. “The Gift of Style.” Same, it’s Breathable. It does the job, it doesn’t fail. It would be interchangeable with Lululemon.

It’d be great to be able to do an A/B test, specifically which one would do better between those ads with a really good video that doesn’t give direction on the product, or an image slide that gives a little bit more direction or a little bit more variety of the product. I would guess Lululemon. Neither really appeal.


All right, Nike. Yeah, that is strong. You’re starting the phone and visualizations are strong with what the phone is doing — to be able to track the person’s performance.

Nike, you are No Sweating it, although your app is going to make me sweat. A strong, you know what, I’m going to jump that up to Instagram Famous. That’s a very complex story to be able to say. Within that amount of time, I’m getting visualization that their app is able to help me follow my workouts. Good stuff, Nike.


All right, let’s go into Puma. This is, I think, great branding. You’re getting a wide variety of the collection that they’re showcasing. You’re also getting great background as well, having the comics.

With the comics, that’s going to then put forth the experience for the audience with the variety of the different angles. The experience is very strong. I have a very good understanding of what Puma is selling me there. Puma, you’re Instagram Famous. Good job there.


All right, Reebok. It’s a good video. However, this one comes in, I think it’s around 25, 30. Nope. At 28 seconds. It’s long. You can be able to cut this up and it would be Instagram Famous, really compelling shots. It gives the idea that you can be very athletic with Reebok apparel.

However, audiences typically aren’t going to consume for longer formats. You should have a 30-second video, but typically if your 30-second video is your best performing, it’s more than likely that means your 15 (second) videos suck. That’s No Sweat. Good job, Reebok.

Under Armour

Under Armor, let us get in. Yeah. This is just all story, which is great for branding. Yo, this is a great commercial. If you are looking for the long term of what branding can be able to do, then by all means this is going to do your brand very well. It’s very inspirational, but I don’t care.

The only thing I care about inspiring people, is to buy now. I want to attribute my campaigns with as much success as possible. Typically, this video is just not going to do it. Yeah, let’s go hater. It is much better than Fila, but it doesn’t showcase the product at all. It’s just more inspirational.

I want to know what makes your product different. Yes, you can talk about sports but even in that video, it’s really not highlighting anything in specific for the apparel that they would sell. It’s more based on the inspirational.

Final Thoughts

Let me know what you guys think in the comments. Did we get it right? Did we get it wrong? Shoot up the comments in below. Now, you’ll be able to watch the sportswear ads in the same way we ranked them.  

If you liked our Sportswear Ads Tier Ranking, feel free to subscribe to our YouTube Channel! In addition to that, you can check out our blogs for the latest on Paid Social. 

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