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Adidas world cup bid gets graphic

Adidas has kicked off its run up to next year’s World Cup with a campaign for its new50i football boot.

The 90 second film sees a hooded Zinedine Zidane track down a player with legendary lightning fast skills - The Spark, played by 21-year-old Barcelona FC hero Lionel Messi. Advertising agency 180 Amsterdam and director Rupert Sanders have woven a mythical origin story for the talented young player - a truck crashes into an electricity pylon, showering the young Messi in sparks. Could this be the source of his supernatural soccer skills?

The campaign revolves around the strapline ‘Every Team Needs’, and borrows heavily from superhero narratives and graphic novel visuals.

According to executive creative director Andy Fackrell the idea was borne out of a desire to marry adidas’ core values of teamwork with the pizzazz of a personality-driven spot. “The team structure is always an adidas thing - it’s always about teamwork first. But by doing that you tend to negate the individual, they become just another number in a group,” he explains. “It’s hard to capture the sexy individualism as well as teamwork, but the line ‘Every Team Needs’ delivers that quite easily.”

adidas and 180 were keen to make a statement with the film - opting for an epic, cinematic film that is markedly different from the documentary style that has characterised much of 180’s output for adidas. As well as the grand 90 second film, there will be cut down trailers for TV, and online content that will add layers to the story.

Eric Liedtke, senior vice president of brand marketing hopes the multi-faceted approacg will intrigue consumers and maintain their interest. “We set out to do something different in how we brought the F50i and our Every Team Needs communications to consumers. To the football audience a big TV spot is only a moment long, but an intriguing series of films, clues, product reviews and digital tools can sustain this consumer interest and entice them to engage with our product and brand.”

adidas is the first big sports brand to warm up for the World Cup. “I don’t know when the other brands kick off their campaigns for the World Cup - and this is a year out, a little early perhaps, but it gives us lots of scope to push the campaign along a little bit over the next 11 months. We wanted to do something big and put a stake in the ground, and say big communications is back,” explains Fackrell. “We wanted to take adidas away from its feel-good connotations and say ‘you know what, we’re a kick-arse brand, we’ve got all these great players and we can be a bit aggressive as well’. Hopefully we’ve caught the other brands by surprise.”

And the team at 180 are remaining tight-lipped about just how big the campaign is. As the spot ends, it teases us with the words ‘And so it begins…” hinting that there may be more to come over the next 11 months from adidas and its league of extraordinary gentlemen.


Laura Swinton is news reporter on

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