When Wilson Tennis was ready to launch a new racquet, it faced a crowded market saturated with outrageous product claims that left its target audience confused at best and skeptical at worst. To cut through the noise, Wilson needed a distinct image that would not just communicate the racquet’s benefits, but generate an active preference in its target audience. Wilson turned to Plan B for assistance.
Research reveals that passionate tennis players expect and appreciate a high level of technical sophistication in the construction of high-performance racquets. When it comes to connecting with a particular racquet model, though, findings suggest that technical construction is less important than how a racquet makes a player feel. The racquet is viewed as a source of confidence, and confident players are, more often than not, stronger players.
Plan B’s sports marketing specialists identified innovative “leaf springs” and carbon fiber nanotechnology in the racquet’s frame as features that made a demonstratable connection between advanced technology and player feel.
With this feature in mind, Plan B developed a unique identity for the racquet that spoke not only to its competitive technological edge, but to its ability to help enthusiasts “play above the competition.” This identity—the Wilson NanoGraphite, or “WnG”—was reinforced by a distinctive print ad campaign starring Roger Federer and Serena Williams where Plan B visually represented how the WnG helped elevate players’ games.
The breakthrough campaign Plan B created for the Wilson WnG proved instrumental in the launch’s success. The racquet’s distinct brand provoked an emotional connection with its target audience, without relying on sterile technical jargon. With this connection, the ads carved out a niche in an overcrowded market, reinforcing Wilson’s reputation as an innovative industry leader.