Created by Australian creative agency The Monkeys, the ad is deliberately provocative, putting breasts front and centre in a visceral demonstration of how uncomfortable sports can feel for women who don’t have the proper sportswear. It concludes with the tagline ‘Berlei: The Best Support For Sport’, driving home the fact that the brand has active women covered. "When playing different sports, the right sports bra is as important to our comfort and performance as the shoes on our feet,” says Barbara Humphries, The Monkeys’ creative director. “A good bra does make a difference, and there’s none better than Berlei.” The brand also sponsors tennis champion Serena Williams, who testifies to the amount of support their sports bras give her in a high-impact sport.
Research carried out in 2012 found that 64% of female marathon runners experienced breast pain while working out, with excessive movement resulting in soreness and even tissue damage. This discomfort is not uncommon, and can negatively impact people's quality of life, with one-in-four saying they either scale back or miss exercises due to the struggle with breast pain. By putting the importance of chest support front and centre, Berlei shows active women that it understands their needs, and is ready to put their wellbeing at the heart of their product. Industry heavyweights like Sloggi have also designed underwear following similar principles, aiming to make women’s physiological needs and comfort a priority.
Helen Jambunathan is an anthropologist and writer for Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. She’s currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She holds a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge, and has over five years of experience researching the specialty coffee industry. Outside of work, she is a die-hard tennis fan, wearer of many rings, and reader of many things.