Adidas Goes Big With New Campaign

On Wednesday the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based athletic brand launched “All Adidas,” its first major branding campaign since 2004’s “Impossible Is Nothing.”

The global TV- and Internet-focused campaign is meant to help the brand raise awareness with the high-school age consumer, a segment targeted under the Route 2015 plan to grow sales, Adidas America President Patrik Nilsson told Footwear News.

“We’ve had a tremendous year already, so we’re now coming in and doing the biggest campaign we’ve done in America that tells the story of how diverse the brand is and inviting the consumer into the brand, to participate in what the brand really stands for,” Nilsson said.

The campaign, conceived by Adidas’ lead ad agency, Montreal-based Sid Lee, debuts globally with two TV spots (a 30-second and a 60-second version) and an extended two-minute version available online. For the first time, all divisions of the brand, including its classics-based Originals and Y-3, are represented together in the videos, which feature brand athletes David Beckham, Dwight Howard, Lionel Messi and Derrick Rose, singer Katy Perry and musican B.o.B, with music by French electronic act Justice.

The theme of the yearlong campaign, according to Britt Jorgenson, director of marketing for Adidas America’s sport performance division, is “celebrating the passion that athletes, musicians and artists have for their games, and the passion that unites us.” Adidas also has tailored the message to the U.S. market and teenage athletes, Jorgenson said, highlighting the University of Notre Dame’s football team and girls’ cross country and lacrosse players, who appear in the campaign.

Jorgenson added that the first ads will be in heavy rotation for the next four to six weeks on networks including MTV and Comedy Central. An evolution of the original campaign is slated for June/July. And while Jorgenson said nothing was confirmed for the fourth quarter, it’s likely that another round will follow later in the year.

The “All Adidas” theme also will be the hook for all major product-focused campaigns this year, Nilsson added. In fact, some marketing materials promoting the brand’s AdiZero lightweight series are already in the market with “All Light” and “All Fast” branding, Jorgenson said. And next week, TV and in-store promotions for the new Climacool Ride running style will kick off under the “All Cool” banner.

In the social networking sphere, Adidas is launching an online contest asking consumers to submit their best “game face” photos on Facebook. The promotion runs through June 5, when the chosen fan pictures will appear in a commercial during the MTV Movie Awards.

For his part, Nilsson wouldn’t specify how much the brand expected to spend on the effort, but said it was “substantially” larger than anything the company had done before in the U.S. market.

He added that the brand expects big things from its latest effort. “It’s very relevant to our target consumer,” he said. “And it’s really a tide that’s going to lift all boats.”

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