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Attention Grabbing Adidas Advertising

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Adidas AG today is a multinational corporation that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories.

It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, after Nike.

Adolf Dassler, known to his friends as ‘Adi’, started making spiked running shoes for multiple athletic events in his mother’s laundry room in 1919. His elder brother Rudolf joined him in 1924, and the Dassler Brother’s Shoe Factory was established.

In 1949 however, the brothers had a fall out and Adolf created the Adidas Company, with its distinctive ‘three-stripes’ logo, whereas Rudolf decided to establish a rival company and brand called ‘Puma’.

Socially Responsive Brand Communication

The Adidas Corporation’s advertising communication reflect a recognition of the truth that the perception of a brand’s monetary value, and the perception of a brand’s societal value, have become so intertwined in the minds of consumers, that they cannot be separated.

In a world suffering from a rapidly increasing ‘trust deficit’, higher ethical values of management practices and doing business have to be lived up to if companies are to prosper and be able to promote their brands with socially responsible advertising, that to be effective, have to be credible.

Laudably, Adidas and their advertising agencies have, with insightful responsiveness, used the brand’s extensive media reach as an opportunity to address and support many socially responsible issues and initiatives, with noteworthy successes.

1. Adidas, Our Differences Make The Difference

Advertising Agency: M&C Saatchi, Stockholm, Sweden

Production and Media Company: Crosby, Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish Football Association decided to take a clear stand against racial intolerance and prejudicial hate that increasingly threaten constitutionally enshrined social justice principles, and even Swedish football.

The new Swedish Euro 2020 jersey can’t be bought. The only means of acquisition supporters have, is earning ‘the right to wear’ the national team garment, and that requires pledging to adhere strictly to the following terms and conditions:

To always show respect, to stand behind the team through good times and bad, to never spread hate and to welcome everyone into the team. A true supporter supports.

2. Adidas, One In a Billion

Advertising Agency: 72andSunny, New York, USA

Directed by Max Malkin, the ‘One in a Billion’ advertising campaign aims to motivate Chinese athletes to pursue their own individual greatness.

“Among a billion people in China, there is only one you. Your creativity is what sets you apart in sport and in life.”

Recognised for their individuality, scenes of Champion Freestyle Swimmer Ning Zetao, and famed female Volleyball Captain Hui Ruoqi, are featured in the commercial, along with cameo appearances by David Beckham.

3. Adidas GMR, Play Connected

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Adidas GMR is a Google-powered pair of smart insoles that can be used in any brand of sports shoe to track a football player’s progress and be able to compete in virtual competitions via the FIFA app.

Directed by Pedro Martin-Calero in partnership with 3D Artist Ben Fearnleyand, and Motion Designer Rob Monk, ‘Play Connected’ features ‘Serie A Club Juventus’ and Argentina national team football player, Paulo Dybala, also popularly referred to as “La Joya” due to his pace and talented, creative style of play.

4. Adidas, Your Future Is Not Mine

Advertising Agency: Johannes Leonardo, New York, USA

Directed by Terence Neal, and filmed across a number of locations in both Budapest and Cape Town, South Africa, ‘Your Future Is Not Mine’ highlights the relevancy of the adidas Originals brand values of community, courage and creativity, at this unique moment in time when the current state of affairs in the world are in such disarray.

The future themed commercial serves as a motivational message for the current generation of young people around the world to go forward, and through community, courage and creativity find their own direction in the tomorrows of the their lives, that will be better.

In an interview on ‘The Little Black Book’s’ online portal, Adidas Originals Senior Director of Global Brand Communication, Alegra O’Hare, underlined the timely and insightful relevancy of the brand campaign:

“We talked to creative communities in key cities like New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris and London and the ‘Your Future is Not Mine’ theme, completely resonated with them.”

“The future is something they really all had concerns about, whether it is the environment, current geo-political shifts, or cultural threats.”

The commercial’s stirring soundtrack by singer, songwriter and producer Daisy Hamel-Buffa from Los Angeles, California, USA, was lauded with a Gold Lion at Cannes for Film Craft Use of Original Music.

5. Adidas Originals, Original Is Never Finished

Advertising Agency: Johannes Leonardo, New York, USA

Creative Director Wes Phelan insightfully noted that the past empowers the future. “We wanted the film to reflect the rich past of all creative spheres: music, art, film and sport.

Starting with the music, we intentionally chose a track that had been done multiple times before to prove our point, that original is never finished.”

“The song provides the narrative thread that connects the different role players and the motivation of their creative drive.”

The commercial was filmed in various locations throughout Europe and Africa by South African film director Terence Neale. The image disruptions and definition fluctuations are intentional and part of the desired ‘actuality’ look and feel he wanted to create.

‘Original Is Never Finished’ was one of YouTube’s 10 most watched commercials of 2017 having reached a staggering 25.4 million views.

The mix of contemporary creative talents featured are: Snoop Dogg, hip-hop artist Stormzy, basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and artist Petra Collins’ re-imagining of Boticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’; all set to the re-worked sounds of Frank Sinatra’s classic tune ‘My Way’, that was especialy written and composed for him by Billy Joel.

6. Adidas Originals China, Original Is Never Finished

Advertising Agency: Johannes Leonardo, New York, USA

The ‘Original Is Never Finished’ campaign seque, directed by Terence Neale for China, explores the idea of recreation and the notion that when something is pushed far enough, it becomes original again.

Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” is reimagined into a poetic, transformative anthem and scenes from the first commercial are recreated featuring a new group of ‘creators’.

Adidas Originals Global Brand Ambassador, Kendall Jenner, is joined by singer and actor Eason Chan, Visual Artist Chen Man, singer and actress Meng Jia, NBA star James Harden, and rappers Playboi Carti, 21 Savage and Young Thug.

They all redefine the idea of originality by challenging the status quo with passionate individuality and creative drive.

The classic ‘MyWay Remix’ soundtrack is by Human Music Production Studios, Franklin, Tennessee, USA, with sound design by Q Department and sound mix by Sonic Union.

The ‘Original Is Never Finished’ adidas brand campaign garnered a trove of International Advertising Awards that included:

2018 Effie – Global Gold
2018 Clio Sport – Grand Prix in Film
2018 Clio Sport – Gold in Audio
2018 One Show – Gold for use of Music
2018 One Show – Gold for Editing
2017 Cannes Lions – Grand Prix – Music Entertainment
2017 Clios – Gold in Use of Music
2017 Clios – Gold in Branded Entertainment
2017 Ciclope Festival Berlin – Gold in Production Design
2017 AMP – Best in Show
2017 AICE – Best Digital Content

7. Adidas & Parley, From The Oceans For The Oceans

Established in 2013 by fashion designer Cyrill Gutch,‘Parley For The Oceans’ seeks to form collaborative partnerships with companies in making brands less environmentally destructive and more ecologically sustainable.

Directed by HVH Films Production Company’s Boris Vassallo, along with Director of Photography Bertrand Marin, the Adidas & Parley co-branding commercial stars Coralie Balmy from La Trinité, Martinique.

The French, Olympic Free-style Swimmer, introduces the new Adidas swimwear range made from recycled ocean plastic, and used fishing nets, that have been converted into technical yarn fibers.

8. Adidas & Parley, Run For The Oceans

Advertising Agency: Brand Articulations/Lore, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Adidas and Parley co-branding activation, that launched the global ‘Run For The Oceans’ movement, resulted in eleven million pairs of Adidas Parley sports shoes being manufactured from marine debris in 2019.

The promotional commercial, directed by James Willis, features Adidas brand ambassadors that include David Beckham, Karlie Kloss and Mo Salah, calling for the support of a social participation drive that will set a new world record.