The Swirl: August 1, 2016

Yep, it's already August. Why does the summer always goes by so freakin' fast? After you've read The Swirl, our vote is that you go soak up the sun. But maybe after this edition, you'll want to go for a run. What we're serving up: baby athletes, a new athletic movement, and fabletics. We're sensing a theme.


Finsta (n). - Fake Instagram. A private account where you only let your closest friends follow you. A place to post unattractive selfies, inside jokes, or just random funny screenshots. Why not just use Snapchat? Because now your funny ideas don't disappear after 24 hours.


"Go for the gold. You can do it. Dream big." You've probably heard this spiel from your parents, teachers, or coaches at least once in your lifetime. And now, Nike would like to remind you of it again. Last week, they released a new spot called "Unlimited Future." It takes your imagination back to when star athletes like Serena Williams, LeBron James, and Mo Farah were just infants (aw, babies). They're pretty stinkin' cute looking up from their cribs. And it's needed, because the accompanying speech from Bobby Cannavale takes on a more serious subject matter. CliffsNotes version: life isn't fair, you don't get to decide how your story starts, but you do get to decide how it ends.


With the Olympics coming up, we've seen ads everywhere featuring star athletes of the 2016 Games. They've been pretty great, but Nike's catches our attention because it takes a slightly different angle. Rather than focusing on the talent athletes have today, they focus on where they started. Suddenly, they seem a lot more like us and less like celebs, and that's because we all have to carve out our own paths of circumstance. Obviously while we're wearing Flyknits. If you weren't feeling ambitious this morning, we bet you are now.


You guessed it, we're talking athletes again. This time, it's from Dove. If you haven't noticed before, a lot of negative criticism comes with being an athlete in the spotlight. Even if you can run a four-minute mile, your stride might be off or your start wasn't perfect. But the worst is when that negativity comes to looks. Commentary about female athletes in particular often focuses on physical appearance. Just this past month, there have been comments like "frizzy hair" and "looks like a fire hydrant" about girl athletes in the media. It's awful, and Dove has decided to take a stand against it. Their new digital billboards serve as a note to media outlets, reminding them that when you focus on looks, you don't see the athlete at all.


The billboards are part of Dove's larger effort "My Beauty, My Say" released earlier this year, and we think this is the best addition yet. The billboards stream live commentary about athletes' looks to showcase just how often appearance is brought up. Negative criticism is not new, but this effort encourages people to join the conversation and push back. And by exposing how much is really out there, we think it could work. Props to Dove for being interactive, but for also doing something with a broader purpose.


Like Gretchen Weiners tried to make fetch happen, Kate Hudson is well on her way to making "athleisure" happen with her co-branded company, Fabletics. Not sure what we mean? Ath = athletic wear. Ya know, sports bras, tanks, sweat-wicking leggings, and the like. Leisure = comfy enough to wear around the house on a Sunday. Or cute enough to go out to brunch. Your pick. Kate's newest TV spot gives viewers a glimpse of her life in a "behind-the-scenes" way, almost like you're scrolling through her Instagram feed. Spoiler: it's intentional.


Kate and her crew found that their most successful ads were those that featured more candid outtakes of her, so they wanted this commercial to showcase how her brand supports her lifestyle - whether that's eating donuts (we doubt it, though) or rolling around on an exercise ball. They took it a step further and shot most of the footage on Kate's iPhone just like she would for social media. This authentic lens into the brand flips the traditional TV approach on its head, and is essentially a social campaign created for the big screen. We like what you've done there.

Extra tid bit: if you're now feeling like your athleisure wardrobe could use a refresh courtesy of Ms. Hudson herself, you're in luck. Just last weekend, Charlotte became #blessed with a brick and mortar.


Whichever way your political pendulum swings (or doesn't this year…), check out how the presidential candidates stack up on social.