- Instagram/Under Armour
A small sports apparel brand is accusing Under Armour of copying its ad campaign.
The similarity between the two campaigns is raising questions on social media, especially on Instagram.
Both advertisements have a similar message of female empowerment, and both fight the stereotype that a female athlete has to be “pretty.”
Under Armour’s campaign was created to inspire women athletes, and “challenge the idea of ‘just a pretty face,’ recognizing that beauty runs much deeper than what is visible from the outside,” according to Attica Jaques the brand’s vice president for brand management.
Both have a similar message of female empowerment, and both fight the stereotype that a female athlete has to be “pretty.”
The Never Too Pretty campaign encouraged women and girls to obtain a cardboard sign, and “write on it what they are Never Too Pretty to do or be,” according to the brand’s website. It was “very authentic and grassroots,” according to founder Cary Williams.
#Repost @tooprettybrand with @repostapp ・・・ Remember when we started the #nevertoopretty campaign? This is Jennifer Kirk who is a former professional ice skater and an amazing coach! She has a story about why she wrote STRONG and it is in our Beauty In Strength book. It is a great story! #nevertoopretty #femalerevolution #ntp #femalecommunity #iceskating #icequeen #not #bestrong ##girlswhoskate #womensday #womenshistorymonth #yesshecan #supporteachother #sisterhood
Under Armour’s campaign has a slick Instagram-embeddable fill-in-the-blank style picture generator website. Users upload pictures and then type in what they do “pretty” well, turning the word from an adjective into an adverb.
Love this campaign from @underarmour for women to express themselves. Strong is not just physical, it’s believing in who you are and making no apologies for how you feel about anything. I am disciplined, I am a good person who speaks her mind- sometimes I cuss and I’m ok with that. Just be you, always. #youareeverything #justbeyou #smile #impretty #youarepretty #lovetorun #LoveYourself #runner #run #underarmour #outdoors #getoutside #OutdoorsIsBest #beautyiseverywhere #runnergirl #girlrunner #dowhatyoulove #justrun #MilesToGo
Both campaigns sell an associated line of merchandise, including tank tops and other apparel.
“The similarities are pretty stark,” Williams said.
Many Instagram users familiar with both campaigns have left comments on Under Armour’s Instagram posts, accusing the brand of copying the Never Too Pretty campaign.
“You’re “pretty” guilty of plagiarism @underarmour. You’re betraying the support and credit that you should be giving to the woman, small business owner @tooprettybrand and professional trainer who started THE @nevertoopretty campaign several years ago,” one user commented.
“The @tooprettybrand movement #nevertoopretty campaign empowers women and girls and has been around since 2015 …. seems far too similar to be coincidence,” another commenter said.
According to Williams, the campaigns also share one model – Olympic boxer Mikaela Mayer.
“Before anyone brings an athlete onto their team, they look very thoroughly at their social media,” Williams said. “I’m sure UA saw her post.”
Williams hopes she can reach some kind of agreement with Under Armour over the similarities in the campaigns.
“I am not sure how this will all pan out but to be true to myself and my #nevertoopretty community, I must stand up,” she said. “If I am not an example for all of these girls and women out there then I am just a hypocrite.”
Under Armour reiterated the goals of its #impretty campaign in a statement to Business Insider:
At Under Armour, we aim to celebrate and inspire the strong female spirit. With the #ImPretty campaign, we wanted to challenge the idea of “just a pretty face,” recognizing that beauty runs much deeper than what is visible from the outside. We want women to know Under Armour is proud of your achievements, whether it’s in the gym, on the field, at work, or in any other part of your life.