Adidas' big new sports campaign, which kicked off during the NFL season opener, is a fierce, punchy effort that pitches the brand as the one for creative athletes with flair and talent that's not just about hard work and training.
In what appears a deliberate dig at Under Armour and its ads featuring armies of doppelgangers, the voiceover starts off by dissing "cookie-cutter, copy-and-paste blah," as we see rows of bored-looking athletes. But finally, someone breaks the mold and the voiceover demands that you "unleash your creativity." Appearances from the likes of Paul Pogba, Aaron Rodgers, Von Miller, James Harden and Brandon Ingram follow as the narrator exhorts us to "free your imagination" and "make your own luck." The spot, by 72andSunny, is set to "Battle Royale" by Apashe.
As well as indirectly referring to Under Armour, the ad also seems to take a dig at arch-rival Nike with lines like: "If you call yourself an athlete, create something." However, some commentators have pointed out that its style, and fast-paced, opinionated narration doesn't seem too far removed from that of Nike's latest efforts such as "Unlimited You."
The new ad continues the theme of athletes "creating" their own destiny that 72andSunny introduced a little over a year ago in a spot that showed an aspiring soccer athlete kick the pros off their pedestals, followed by a women's campaign centered on that same theme.
More recently, other Adidas work via 72andSunny Amsterdam has included spots like Blah Blah Blah by Adidas Football.
"Every snap of the ball, every swing of the bat, every shot on goal, every dribble down the court is a chance to create," said Adidas' VP of Brand Communications Ryan Morlan in a statement. "We want the world to know that sport needs creators. Sport needs athletes who don't just work hard, but athletes who use their imagination and creativity to take their game to the next level. Our latest brand statement (Sport Needs Creators) is a call to athletes everywhere who think and act beyond the norm of sport today."