I'm a running fool, so I notice.
Example: wtf, Asics? What the hell is going on here? Is that shoe exploding in reverse? Why is there a creepy deer? And why is this guy running across the set from I know What You Did Last Summer so late at night? Ok high-speed photography addicts, this isn't even that awesome looking, it's just weird.
And here's New Balance with a head-scratch of a visual gaff about getting your feet off your mind and into the right shoes or something, but come on, really? It's silly and requires an awful lot of brain cells to make the logistical leap.
Not missing out on the confusion-action, here's Nike with a brand new spot out of Italy that I can't understand and I'm legitimately trying. Is he leaving imprints of himself everywhere he runs? And what is with this running after midnight through unnervingly deserted urban ghettos thing? The tagline is something like 'Run Without Brakes'. I don't get it.
And here are a couple of ads that hit the sweet spot - they have relate-ability, emotion, and they know their audience. I feel understood when I watch these.
For the record, I run in Asics, but not because of their marketing department, obvs.