Adidas launched the next phase of its Impossible is Nothing campaign. Under the new effort, more than 30 athletes tell their 'Impossible' stories using their own hand-drawn illustrations and paintings. The campaign will launch with a globally integrated execution on television/on-line, retail and print on Tuesday March 6.
Each athlete chose a defining moment in their life and then illustrated it through images and words which would later be combined to create the campaign.
Highlights from the new campaign include David Beckham telling how he braved death threats from fans after the 1998 FIFA World Cup. US basketball star Gilbert Arenas explains the reason he plays wearing the number 0 on his shirt. All Blacks rugby legend Jonah Lomu talks about the challenges he faced when told of the possibility of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
“With this campaign we get a glimpse of the athletes not at the finish line, but rather at a pivotal point in their journey,” explained Eric Liedtke, SVP Global Brand Marketing, adidas Brand. “When you witness the victory, the end result, it is not always clear how they got there or what they had to overcome along the way. By sharing the journey and, more specifically, a challenge that was encountered along the way we get to a place that is truly inspiring and not often seen. We believe that by giving everyone a glimpse behind the scenes of lives of these athletes, we really will be encouraging them to attempt their own journey.”
The campaign will go live in the U.S. online March 5th, starting with a multi-media program that showcases the content collected from around the globe; including 21 TV commercials, 15 documentaries, 1 long-format film, behind the scenes footage and exclusive digital content. The roll out will include social networking, mobile, instant messaging, branded trailers, promotions, prizes and other elements that invite consumers to interact with the brand and encourage them to take the first step in their personal impossible journey.
The TV will launch in the US on March 14th, featuring Kathryn Smolen, Gilbert Arenas and Allyson Felix ; an everyday average runner telling her story next to an NBA All Star and Olympic Medalist, showing consumers that their obstacles are just as achievable and important as elite athletes. In April, a custom MySpace profile will provide consumers a venue to tell their impossible story, potentially have their story featured on the adidas Impossible Is Nothing site next to their favorite athletes and download exclusive content, including inspirational mobile phone messages from Gilbert Arenas and other athletes. The artwork created by the athletes will also be featured in a traveling exhibition later in the year.
The unique advertising content was created by inviting the athletes to spend time in an art studio with a toy box of art supplies and allowing them to bring their story to life in their own way. Adidas said this” created a wealth of material which consumers will see in commercial films, posters, books, documentaries, exhibitions and even clothing designs. In film, print, digital, and retail content, the athletes' real-life experiences come to life through animated films and static images created by the athletes themselves. The results are deeply personal, edgy and refreshingly honest.”
The concept, created and executed by adidas' global advertising partner 180 Amsterdam (180/TBWA) is the latest in a long line of successful collaborations between the two in recent years. From the original 'Impossible is Nothing' launch campaign in 2004 which was built around Muhammad Ali, to the meeting of English 'kicking gods' David Beckham and Jonny Wilkinson and, most recently, the award-winning football World Cup campaign +10.
“We are all immensely proud of the campaign. I think the team has managed to encapsulate an honesty and truth rarely seen by the athletes. Wouldn't it be amazing if all advertising could be this inspiring and meaningful?” Richard Bullock, Executive Creative Director, 180 Amsterdam.