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4 Of The Greatest Serena Williams Ads + Design Lessons

There are very few players who make such an impact that they leave a permanent void in the history of the game post their retirement. And in the world of tennis, Serena Williams is one such legend. Her retirement might mean the end of her tennis career but over the years she has created an iconic personal brand that is sure to live beyond her career. The diversity of ads she has appeared in and how she has beautifully shaped her personal brand are excellent examples of branding. So, if you are looking to give a twist to your branding approach, then this blog is for you. 

We are going to take a brief look at the personal branding lessons to learn from Serena Williams and some marketing inspiration from the ads she appeared in. Let’s get started! 

Serena Williams – Lessons in Personal Branding 

You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.

– Serena Williams
Have a clear brand purpose and stay true to it 

One of the critical components of Serena Williams’ personal brand is her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. It is a clear example of how clearly defining your brand purpose goes a long way in establishing a brand. She has always been clear about her vision and has made every move towards it. 

Did you know, female entrepreneurs only acquired about 2% of the total venture capital funds in the US? Serena Ventures is a step toward breaking this trend. And the firm recently announced that it had raised $111 million to back up early-stage startups. 

Kimp Tip: As a brand, the one thing to learn from this will be the strength of a clear brand purpose. When you let people know what your brand stands for and if this purpose resonates with them, they are sure to trust your brand a little more. 

Be bold in embracing your identity 

Serena has never shied away from making a bold statement. A good example is an instance when she appeared for the 2018 French Open in a black catsuit. While most of the media and her fans lauded her for her bold move, the suit was banned since it went against the dress code for the event. However, the truth is that there was a medical necessity for the suit. And by wearing it she stood for herself and for women in the sport. 

Brands like Nike stood by her in this because of the rational reason behind her choice. 

Talking about the reaction to her choice of outfit, Serena Williams said, “It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves,”

This clearly shows that she is never one to hesitate from breaking the rules if there is a strong reason and if it is for the greater good. 

Kimp Tip: Staying bold and authentic is one way to get people to notice your personal brand. Commercial brands or personal brands, consumers love brands that make a difference. So, if you show how you advocate for yourself and also for your customers or the community, you are laying a strong foundation of trust. 

Consistency is definitely the key factor 

Inclusivity is one of the things you will notice in many of the personal branding campaigns from Serena Williams. From her clothing line to the venture capital firm she stands for support beyond discrimination. She has been very vocal about inclusivity and gender equality. 

Her open letter to Porter magazine advocating women empowerment shows how she consistently voices her opinions. 

“We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.” 

-Serena Williams in her open letter to the Porter Magazine 

She has also been an advocate of body positivity and has continued to work with models from different body shapes for her fashion line’s campaigns. The #BeSeenBeHeard campaign for her fashion line says it all. 

Kimp Tip: As you can see, across different channels and on different occasions Serena Williams has remained consistent and clear with her message. Similarly, for brands to make an impact on their audience, it is important to create visually consistent designs that consistently capture the brand message. 

Now that we have seen a little about the personal brand of Serena Williams let’s see how this brand is reflected in the ads she has been featured in. 

Best of Serena Williams Ads and What Brands Can Learn From Them 

The off-court earnings of Serena Williams were around $45 million making her one of the top-paid athletes in the world in 2022. Her incredible endorsements come from her impressive brand value. And the kind of endorsements she chooses have a role to play as well. 

Serena Williams has a strong personal brand. And every single personal branding strategy of hers aligns with her personality. The strong and assertive person that she is! And what makes this brand even stronger is that every single one of the ads she has appeared in has aligned with her personality. These are all ads from different brands in different industries and with different core messages. But you will see a Serena Williams flavor in all of them. And you will also notice that the original brand’s identity is preserved too. That’s precisely what makes each of these ads memorable. So, are you ready to look at them? 

1. Nike – Serena Williams – Dream Crazier campaign 

Nike is one brand whose promotional content has always been more than just about the brand. It has always identified itself as a brand that stands for something. And its authenticity is something that has propelled the brand leaps ahead of many of its competitors. Doesn’t that sound very similar to Serena William’s personal brand too? That’s why a partnership between these two iconic brands never fails. 

Dream Crazier is an exemplary campaign that shows the magic that happens when two brands with very similar brand purposes come together. 

Kimp Tip: Video ads have the power to establish memorability. And it takes excellent video editing to come up with campaigns like this one. Ideally, you should include elements that somehow connect the video to your brand. But when you have a brand voice as strong as that of Nike and Serena Williams, a crisp outro with your brand tagline and logo will do the trick too. 

Need help editing videos for your brand campaigns? Kimp Video covers video editing and so much more. 

2. Gatorade – Serena Williams – Win from Within 

There have been several Gatorade ads featuring Serena Williams. But the “Win From Within” campaign is a classic from a few years ago. 

The ad focused on highlighting Serena’s strengths and how she has been a source of inspiration for women around the world. Even the recent “Inner Strong” ad builds on a similar idea. 

Kimp Tip: If you notice the above video, you will see how Gatorade has subtly plugged its branding into the video. The animations, the electric bolt symbol from the brand logo, and the vibrant colors you see in the brand’s marketing are all part of the video. All this happens while also including Serena’s narration and a lot of tennis-related elements in it. That’s one way the personal brand of Serena Williams is preserved too.  This video ad is therefore a good example of some effective and non-intrusive ways to include your brand elements in your video ads while letting the primary message take center stage. 

3. Bumble – Serena Williams – #InHerCourt campaign

Bumble, with its many platforms, has identified itself as a “safe space for women”. And, a celebrity who stands for women empowerment, like Serena Williams makes a great fit for such a women-centric brand. That’s why Bumble’s Super Bowl commercial featuring Serena Williams for the #InHerCourt campaign was a huge success. 

The ad was viewed by 98.2 million people and lauded for the idea. 

Kimp Tip: One of the best ways to make a brand endorsement work is to choose an influencer or celebrity whose personality matches that of your brand. It could be something your brand stands for. Or the endorsing celebrity could be someone who represents the ideal customer persona your brand targets. By featuring such real people who your customers connect with, you can make your campaigns work. 

And to be sure that this idea is conveyed clearly, everything from the animation and visuals to the audio track in your video ad should be aligned with the mood you wish to create. If it is an image ad use colors and fonts to reverberate the emotions you expect from your audience. 

Want to create both image ads and video ads for your campaign? A Kimp Graphics + Video subscription is one way to make it happen. 

4. Beats by Dre – Serena Williams – Rise 

Most campaigns featuring Serena Williams focus on her achievements. But the Rise campaign by Beats by Dre focused on her unseen struggles. The video featured her low moments and the hate speech and then gave an inspiring message of how she rose above all of them. 

Ads like these deserve a special mention. Because they are inspiring and memorable. 

When two brands or a brand and a celebrity come together, you should evaluate the brand images of both these brands. A brand image tells how people perceive your brand. If you think people look up to a brand as a constant source of inspiration, like in the case of Serena Williams, then coming up with an ad in that theme will make the idea work. 

Kimp Tip: When you come up with ideas for your ads, don’t always focus on the progress. Also create content that talks about your flaws, the mistakes, and setbacks in your progress. By doing this you are showing your brand’s human side. Your brand visuals can be of great help in humanizing your brand. 

Need help in coming up with visuals that humanize your brand and capture your ups and downs? Choose a Kimp subscription today. 

Kimp Subscriptions to Materialize Your Ideas Inspired by Serena Williams Ads 

Working with people who are well-versed in your niche or influencers with a good engagement rate on social media can be of huge help to any brand. And to make the most of such collaborations you need the best ads. With most partnerships, you will need ads to span multiple channels digital and traditional. Billboards for the local audience, social media ads and posts, web banner ads, packaging design modifications and so much more! One way to tackle these ad designs conveniently will be by choosing an unlimited graphic design subscription, like Kimp. This way, you can create image ads for all channels as well as video campaigns easily. 

So, are you ready to explore the perks of a design subscription? Sign up for a free trial today. 

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