For a more in-depth look at this Idea of the Week and for other examples of media, marketing and business innovations, visit Ad Age and Cream's inspiration site.
Adidas wanted to find an attention-grabbing way to support the Japan National Football Team on its way to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. It had to unite the country and be an inspiration to the team. Its answer: a giant Manga-style comic strip that the team could view from the plane as they departed to South Africa.
The Sky Comic project was a creation of 13 massive 300-square-meter individual comic strip panels painted by national team supporters from all over Japan, featuring football heroes. It spanned 13 cities over five weeks. The individual panels were photographed from the sky, using balloons, and uploaded to a microsite where the entire story comes together.
The website includes behind-the-scenes videos of children painting as well as photos of the teamwork that went into the project. Fans who couldn't be at the events participated by sending messages from their PCs, mobile phones, and Twitter, which were included in the website's word balloon feed to become part of the comic.
The final piece of 13 massive comic frames were driven to Tokyo on May 25, where it was assembled as an inspirational send-off for the team as it departed Haneda airport for South Africa.
Marketing campaigns often receive accolades and awards, but it isn't often that they set a world record in the process, operating on both a local and national scale.
Approximately 13,000 school-aged supporters participated in the Sky Comic event. Digitally, more than 50,000 people were involved in the project, which generated over $6.6 million worth of earned media -- with zero investments in paid media.
~ ~ ~
Cream indexes and analyzes the world's media, marketing and business innovations. Combining a library of more than 2,500 case studies with insight and analytical tools, the Cream Innovation Exchange provides inspiration and helps you discover what's next in the world of communications.