Anyone Got a Clue What Adidas' Latest Campaign Is About?

Has anyone got a clue what Adidas is on about? Check out its latest one-and-a-half minute advertisement -- which, in my humble opinion, personifies Friday's MAD London blog about advertisers really needing to get to a point, and see what you think.

There has no doubt been a lot of deep thinking involved with the ad, which lines up four people that one can assume Adidas considers to be superstars -- David Beckham, Pharrell, Rita Ora and basketball player Damian Lillard. A minute and a half of very well-shot video is filled with the superstars asking us if we think things such as filling stadia, having a bodyguard, being recognised and so on are our idea of being a superstar. Then we end on Pharrell summing up -- presumably for all four -- that if that's what we think he, and they, are not superstars.

I've watched it a handful of times and I'm still no nearer to finding out what the message behind the beautiful cinematography is.

Fortunately Adidas is there to help with a statement that: "Social media has completely redefined the concepts of self-expression, originality and creativity and, throughout 2015, [this] campaign will question the need for external validation and celebrity worship."

Come again? So Adidas is using four universally recognised superstars to say that you don't need external validation or celebrity worship, it's all about self-expression and originality. Is it me just wondering, then, why would you sign up four brand ambassadors to wear your shoes, asking a load of nonsensical questions if the purpose isn't to steer their collective "external worship" toward buying said shoes? And those questions. Being a superstar is almost certainly all about filling stadia, requiring a bodyguard in public and people knowing who you are. Isn't it? Or have I got that wrong?

Unless the adv was introduced in the marketing press as pushing the brand's Superstar shoes, I'd personally not have a clue why the brand was bringing me a ninety-second message that must have cost many millions of pounds. The statement appears to be making a point about self-expression and having substance behind a facade, and so is being viewed by Marketing magazine as a dig at social media. If it is a dig at Z list celebrities on social media who appear to have no substance behind their endless tweets and posts about fame and stardom, the magazine makes the point that it is exactly on these channels that the video will be promoted via #originalsuperstar.

So, sorry -- I really don't have an answer to my own question. It isn't rhetorical. I simply don't have a clue what Adidas is on about in a ninety-second message that questions what we think of as being a Superstar with a bunch of assumptions that are, on the face of it, actually correct but without any alternatives to make us realise what Adidas wants us to come away with. There's no mention of Rita Ora having to sing for years in front of two men and a dog for years before her talent and perseverance shone through. Likewise, no mention of the thousands of free kicks that Beckham took before he got to "bend it" like you know who. Isn't that what being a superstar is all about? Talent, mixed with hard work, determination and grit?

I made the point on Friday that if you're ever left wondering what exactly it is an advertiser wants from you, then that brand is wasting its time and money. I can't think of a recent ad that personifies this better for me than Adidas' latest effort. 

The irony is that while it makes a point, I think, and it's only my reading of a mystifying advert, that stardom is about what's behind what the public see, the ad actually offers just a series of beautifully shot scenes with absolutely no substance behind the moving images whatsoever. 

It's surely calling out for a shoe-related strapline and perhaps hashtag that sums up that it's not about the destination but the journey, or that success comes from within or even just look beyond the hype.

Mystifies me. Is it just me, though? Anyone out there disagree?

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