A first-of-its-kind partnership with Under Armour that presented Martian astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) as the superathlete of the future.
The Martian needed to introduce its story to audiences through partnerships that were organic, culturally impactful, and added credibility to Mark Watney’s journey of survival. Under Armour needed a new way to deliver on their efforts to associate the brand with the cutting edge of sports technology and the most committed athletes on the planet.
We partnered with droga5 and Under Armour to create a campaign built around a simple question: what if astronauts were sponsored by brands in the year 2035? UA was positioned as a provider of next-generation training gear for the Ares 3 mission. We created a 0:60 in-world brand film, branded training gear, and an array of social content that highlighted the intense physical and mental preparation that comes with being an astronaut.
“Leave Your Mark” is a celebration of those who understand that greatness isn’t in the destination itself, but in the journey. It’s in the constant repetition of drills and training and preparation. It’s in the hundreds of hours spent drilling for every scenario imaginable—and when you’re an astronaut, you have to train for survival. Being a Mars astronaut is the most grueling athletic and mental endeavor we can imagine. In our co-branded film, Under Armour celebrates this spirit and establishes their role in equipping him every step of the way as the Official Training Partner of the Ares Space Program.
A COORDINATED LAUNCH
We launched “Leave Your Mark” with a coordinated social campaign between 20th Century Fox and Under Armour. We first teased the release of the film across UA’s social channels, hinting that the brand had signed a new super athlete. Then we made the announcement with the dramatic launch film. We highlighted everything Mark Watney had been through to equip himself for the extraordinary challenge ahead, with Under Armour as his equipment provider throughout.
We then kept the story alive with subsequent mini films about Mark Watney’s training, posted alongside NASA-sourced facts about the realities of surviving at the peak of physical performance in space. All to the film’s social followers and Under Armour’s 127m followers.
The response was overwhelmingly positive, with audiences and press praising the short film’s creativity and applauding the authenticity of the promotional effort.
“Shows the untapped potential of creating original branded content around films.”
— Fast Company
Under Armour got to be part of Ridley Scott’s huge pop culture moment, while promoting their key brand attribute of being at the cutting edge of sporting technology. Meanwhile, The Martian was able to leverage the UA brand to add credibility to its future world and gain access to the brand’s 127 million social followers. It was a truly mutually beneficial partnership.
• 3.5m+ views
• Trended on Reddit
• 97% positive organic social sentiment
• 77% of product sales went to brand-new UA customers