Adidas Urges Fans to “Unfollow” Idols

Adidas Launches New Soccer Ad
The German athletic company wants consumers to be less like their sports idols.

Adidas has spent millions on endorsing high profile soccer players with the hope that consumers will want to emulate them in the company’s gear. In a marketing twist unveiled this week, the Germany-based firm is telling fans through a 90-second film to not be like them.

In the star-studded spot, called “Create Your Own Game,” the company is urging aspiring athletes to “defy the norm and set out to create their own path.”

The film, developed with creative agency 72andSunny, features soccer sensations Leo Messi, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller. NBA player Ricky Rubio also makes an appearance.

The company said the new approach “challenges viewers” to be leaders instead of followers, “to create, not emulate.”

“The game of soccer has changed and we want to celebrate the new, the different, the rule makers and innovators,” said Eric Liedtke, Adidas board member in charge of global brands, in a statement. “’Create Your Own Game’ is a compelling concept, inspiring the creators of today to push the game forward. It encapsulates the brand’s vision that is relevant to all sports and athletes and encourages creators to think differently, take inspiration from heroes, but ultimately create their own game.”

Watch the new spot below.