Adidas: My Way
Heart or Humor
When your biggest rival is Nike, you don’t really have any choice but to try and create something outrageously interesting. Here we evaluate Adidas’s “My Way” commercial, their attempt at staking a claim to the throne of the sports market. See our scores and thoughts right here.
Memorability – 8 / 10
It’s an ad set to rival the creativity of any sports sequence that has come before it. Half TV commercial, half music video, this vibrant and captivating clip will prove hard to ignore, hard to forget, as well as chat provoking. The Adidas products within the clip are almost hidden behind a blur of prancing characters, murky filters and production value. This is hardly a failure but actually, helps to prove the items stand out in a crowd. Fast cut scenes, excessively dynamic visuals, and a clever remixed soundtrack give the clip an edge that many will remember above any Adidas ad from the past.
Effectiveness – 8 / 10
The most powerful sports brands in the world rarely push individual items, but instead, indulge in pure brand awareness concepts. Adidas doesn’t even need to be mentioned in this ad, the visuals with the odd “three lines” now and then is enough to speak to the audience about the brand. The objective here is to condition viewers to understand the current direction that Adidas is going in. The themes in the clip suggest they are trying to separate themselves from normality. The notions portrayed include being different, scientifically superior, modern, and proud of uniqueness. Does it work? To compete against Nike for a seat at the top table, yes, being different is certainly one way to go about it.
Style – 8 / 10
As many would expect, the visuals are stunning, the production value is world class, and no expense has been spared in ensuring every second is filled with intriguing content. The soundtrack starts out tame and increasingly morphs into something meaner and more relevant as the clip continues. Millennials and young adults will certainly relate to the ultra urban theme that courses throughout the clip.
Heart or Humor – 7 / 10
This sequence is all about heart. It’s as much in line with modern fashion commercials as it is with sports entertainment themes. The characters are all working on themselves in some way. From the athlete that recovers in an ice bath tapped up, to the almost cybernetic female that lays awaiting her enhancement. The concept breathes notions of reinvention, hard combat, survival, and of course, sex appeal. The one thing it lacks is a sense of loyalty. Adidas has a fine history that stretches back many decades and perhaps an element that plays on this quality could have enriched this concept further.
Execution – 8 / 10
The clip is very attractive, it portrays the brand in a very relative and captivating light, and offers a new generation of consumers something a little different. The only thing that is missing is an outstanding moment that forces people to talk about it. In the ongoing war with Nike, many will feel Adidas needs to do something more explosive if they mean to catch up or even outdo the world’s most powerful sporting brand.
The marketing story: “True to the name, we have yet again re-envisioned ‘Original is never finished’. Now with the help of a new set of creators (Kendall Jenner, James Harden, 21 Savage, Young Thug, and Playboi Carti), and a new take on the iconic Frank Sinatra track, we recreate our original film to prove that #ORIGINALis never finished. When something is pushed far enough, it becomes original again.”
Agency: Johannes Leonardo
Global VP of Brand Communications: Alegra O’Hare
Global Director of Communications & Brand Marketing: Jenny Pham
Senior Manager Communications: Edi Borrelli
Sr. Director Global Brand Marketing Operations & Creative Shoot Production: John van Tuyll
Shoot & Production Manager: Justin Townsend
Chief Creative Officer: Jan Jacobs
Chief Creative Officer: Leo Premutico
Creative Director: Ferdinando Verderi
Partner: Ferdinando Verderi
Creative Director: Wesley Phelan
Creative Director: Matthew Edwards
Copywriter: Jeph Burton
Art director: Hunter Hampton
Head of Integrated Production: Dana May
Executive Producer: Maria Perez
Print Producer: Adam Gong
Film Associate Producer: Alexandra Olivo
Group Account Director: Sam McCallum
Account Director: Dominique Dalton
Account Supervisor: Gulru Soylu
Account Supervisor: Kat Pryor
Account Executive: Adriana Mariella
Head of Strategy: Mark Aronson
Johannes Leonardo about Adidas My Way commercial:
In our third year of the strikethrough campaign adidas Originals takes on a topic very close to its heart—originality. The “Original is Never Finished” spot, which features a multi-generational cast of some of the world’s biggest names, including Frank Sinatra, Dev Hynes, Snoop Dogg, Mark Gonzales and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is influenced by past creations to inspire creators the world over the feed off artists new and old.
The launch film is itself a demonstration of the brand’s philosophy. With a radical re-interpretation of the much used track “My Way” popularized by Frank Sinatra, the film proves if you push something far enough it becomes original again.
But it doesn’t stop there. Through reinventions of symbolic icons of beauty and culture—from Botticelli’s Birth of Venus to Snoop Dogg’s iconic Doggystyle album cover—shows a new generation of artists and creators who feel burdened by the weight of everything that has been done before that an original is never finished.
It’s adidas Original’s most ambitious effort yet, and is set to unfold throughout the year across Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, contextual pre-rolls and in-retail.
Johannes Leonardo’s previous work for Originals inspired makers to create for an audience of one with its “Superstar is Not What You Think It Is” campaign, and then inspired those same makers to take the future into their own hands with the “Your Future is Not Mine” campaign.
“When we released Originals Is Never Finished for the first time we challenged ourselves to redefine what it means to be original,” says Alegra O’Hare, VP of Global Communications adidas Originals & Core in a statement. “With the release of chapter three we are putting our words into practice and reinventing our own work. For us to inspire our creative community, we as a brand must to live up to the challenge, and with Originals Is Never Finished we do just that.“
Original is never finished