Adidas All Blacks: Bonded by Tech

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For the past decade, adidas has celebrated the announcement of New Zealand's All Blacks rugby squad with an unusual commemorative poster, including the Cannes Promo Grand Prix-winning "Bonded by Blood" effort from 2007, which incorporated the real blood of All Blacks players into the printing process.


Bonded by Blood

This year, Adidas and TBWA Whybin have taken another innovative approach to create the 10th anniversary All Blacks banner, this time going the tech route by pairing enthusiastic fans with Microsoft's Photosynth. The digital stitching process combines digital photographs taken from a variety of locations and angles around a subject to create massive, highly detailed, multidimensional image like CNN's "The Moment," from President Obama's Inauguration, which allowed viewers to get closeups of everything from the expression on Obama's face to the sequins on Aretha Franklin's marvelous hat.

Earlier this summer the agency and adidas announced a competition via seeded video, point of sale, online ads and stadium broadcasts inviting fans to be the official poster photographers during four different games throughout the season. Those winners were given $10,000 Canon digital cameras and invited to join press photographers on the pitch to shoot the All Blacks during the national anthem. Meanwhile, fans wearing All Blacks jerseys were given a camera to shoot the game from the crowd. Photosynth is then used to stitch together the various images into four different "posters," printable versions of which are available for download off the website Ishotthe2009allblacks.com.

According to Whybin creative director Andy Blood, the agency worked with Microsoft NZ's Nigel Parker, who writes more about the effort here. Parker hooked the agency up with the Photosynth team in Seattle, including photosynth co-creator and founder of the SETI project David Geyde, "who passed on the learnings from the Obama inauguration."

Two shoot-outs already took place in June and July during All Blacks games against Italy and Australia. Forthcoming games will be on September 12th (All Blacks vs. South Africa) and finally, on September 19th at the All Blacks Vs. Australia game in Wellington, which Blood says promises to involve even more fan photographers shooting from their mobile devices.

Oddly enough, the CD says that last year TBWA Hong Kong's outgoing planner Ed Tam had sent him a note saying "Bloodster, you'll use this one day," along with a TED video featuring Microsoft architect and Photosynth inventor Blaise Aguera y Arca. "It's kind of cool to know that now because we're on the homepage of photosynth.net, and we were a small part of a Blaise Aguera y Arca's demo last week of the new wave of Photosynth," Blood says.
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