Creating space in a world where a growing number of women feel they have none. It’s a huge challenge, but one achieved with both grit and grace in a new campaign from Asics.

The ’She Breathes’ campaign shows how exercise can help create the space to breathe with authenticity.

The global campaign, created by WMN, the female-forward studio which is part of CPB London, has been created to support the launch of ASICS new collection.

It draws on data from Asics State of Mind Index research which underlined a positive link between mental well-being and movement. The data also revealed that finding that space is deeply gendered; globally women exercise on average 40 minutes less a week than men and, as a result, experience a lower state of mind. 

The campaign highlights the everyday stressors women face. From juggling the school run or comforting a tearful child to navigating the potential threats of a dark street. Each moment of stress is accompanied by the sound of a shortness of breath. Before a crescendo of accompanying signs builds before morphing into the steady in and out breath of a woman running. The space to breathe comes hand in hand with prioritising taking the time to move.

Helen James, CEO for Europe at Crispin Porter Bogusky and founder of WMN, explained: “Amazingly, just over 15 minutes of exercise has been proven to lift your mood - but how many women feel able to set aside those 15 minutes from their busy days? We wanted to highlight that there’s a virtuous circle to be uncovered here: when you carve out time for yourself and exercise, when you breathe deeply and calmly, the weight of your seemingly endless To Do list lessens, and your stress levels fall." 

Gary Raucher, Executive Vice President at ASICS EMEA added: “ASICS was founded on the belief that movement can transform the mind. It’s why we’re called ASICS. It’s an acronym from the Latin phrase Anima Sana In Corpore Sano or a Sound Mind in a Sound Body. And we believe our founding purpose is more relevant today than ever before. We know that stress and anxiety levels continue to rise, but we also know exercise can help. Yet our own research shows that women don’t exercise as much as men and that negatively impacts their State of Mind scores. We need to change that.”

In a media ecosystem in which brands have faced criticism for not representing the reality of women’s lives, particularly when it comes to women’s safety, this campaign underlines the power of lived experience both in the work and behind the lens.

The campaign was created by an all-female line-up at CPB London, from the creative team through to production, account management and design, as well as being creatively led by Director Amy Becker Burnett and Photographer Wendy Huynh.

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