adidas originals + sid lee: house party.

It’s been a while since I got all sloppy talking about one of my absolute favourite brands ever – Adidas. So today I was ready when Limited Hype released “House Party.” Part of the big-ass global campaign that’s beginning to evolve for Adidas’ 60th anniversary in 2009, this spot, created by Sid Lee Montréal, gets all grainy and nostalgic for the kind of jams we all knew and loved before anyone owned furniture they cared about.

It’s still 2008, but mark my words: 2009 will be the year of Adidas, and this shit will be everywhere. Now watch it and play spot the celeb. They’re here. And they are partying…

(Director: Nima Nourizadeh.)

That’s right: Russell Simmons, David Beckham, N.E.R.D, Method & Redman, Jeremy Scott, Yung Jeezy, DMC, Missy Elliott, Katy Perry, Estelle and probably a few I’ve missed. If you’re reading this and you’re famous, you need to find out why you’re not in this commercial, and then you need to fire someone’s ass.

beijing 2008: adidas’ countdown + coca cola’s bird’s nest stadium.

I’ve been obsessed with the marketing buzz building towards Beijing 2008 for quite a while now, particularly with the stunning work from one of my fave brands, Adidas, and their “In 2008 Impossible Is Nothing” campaign.

Now the games are finally here. This morning I got up at 7am to watch the Opening Ceremonies live. I’m not an early riser by any means, but an Olympics opening is one of the greatest spectacles of our time. I don’t want to give anything away for those who will be watching tonight, but Beijing turned out the most pomped out, kick ass, jaw dropping, absolutely over-whelming display of light, precision, synchronization, and sheer human effort. It’s one of the very few things, if not the only thing, that the world collectively agrees to turn its attention to in a generally positive light. And for that it should be cherished.

This last week some of the big guns have really amped up their marketing and turned out some proper Olympic-style work. Here we’ve got two new spots that launched this week in the final build up to the games.

First up is Coca Cola’s cutesie pie “Bird’s Nest Stadium”. So much of Olympics advertising is lazy and relies on the natural drama of sport without taking a fresh or humanistic approach. Show a bunch of people diving, twirling, and running, que the cheering crowds, slap your logo on the end, et voila. This spot does much more but simultaneously doesn’t try and veer too much from what this is all about. Without hitting us over the head, it’s a nice blend of that human-family multicultural angle that the Olympics just beg for and also highlights, in an undeniably adorable ending, the excitement and anticipation most of us feel for the world’s biggest sporting event. It’s pure feel good and a total bull’s eye:

(Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam. Directors: Eric Lerner + Thomas Hilland. Production: Partizan.)

With “Countdown”, Adidas continues it’s more Chinese-nationalist approach it’s taken throughout its entire “In 2008 Impossible Is Nothing” campaign for the games. While the Coca Cola spot (and, indeed, most Olympic spots in general) take the POV of being a non-athlete in another country, watching and supporting the games from afar, the Adidas spots went for something different. They focussed on specific Chinese athletes (such as Hu Jia and Zheng Zhi) and didn’t shy away from the tremendous pressure they feel to honour their country. In this final spot, it broadens that anticipation from the individual athletes to that of the entire Chinese population. A particularly interesting angle to take for these games, for while we can all identify with a sense of national pride, China’s not an open book. The catalyst for what might be encouraging China’s national identity isn’t freely shared with the rest of us.

Still, the feeling it evokes is honest and the visual idea of citizens physically imitating their Olympic heroes, moved almost beyond thought and action into just a pure manifestion of national will (which, let’s be honest, isn’t a far cry from China any ol’ time), is wonderfully effective.

(Agency: TBWA China. Director: NEO. Production: Stink, London.)

Via Motionographer + Creativity Online

adidas: chinese volleyball association.

I’ve raved about this campaign enough already, so as hard as it is for me to hold back my rabid enthusiasm, I won’t get into it again. But click on “raved about this campaign enough already” if you want to read my past raving.

Adidas, 180/TBWA, Psyop, and Stink continue the brilliant “In 2008, Impossible Is Nothing” campaign for the Beijing Summer Olympics with “Chinese Volleyball Association”. After beautiful spots highlighting the hopes and fears of Chinese Olympics hopefuls Hu Jia and Zheng Zhi , this time they look at setter and team captain for the Chinese women’s volleyball team, Feng Kun. They won gold in Athens 2004 and Kun won MVP, so it’s probably an understatement to say there are some major expectations sitting on their shoulders for 2008…

adidas grün: “guerilla gardeners”.

I’ll spare you my usual brand-cult diatribe about how I worship the ground Adidas walks on…oh shit, too late. So Adidas is the king. Once again, they go beyond merely creating and marketing a product to integrating it into a lifestyle and entertaining you while they demonstrate it.

Adidas Original’s new Grün line (German for “green”, dontcha know…) is their foray into the environmentally aware / sustainably created game. Sure, there are the old standbys like making the rubber soles from recycled tires, but Adidas is also investing research into creating shoes and clothing out of renewable, eco-friendly resources like bamboo. We all know that recycling is good, but reducing the amount of what needs to be recycled in the first place is where the future of the planet lies, and Adidas is taking steps to make that happen.

Knowing that environmentalism is a mind-set, not just a selling point, their Grün campaign has kicked off with “Guerilla Gardening”. For all intents and purposes, it’s graffiti with plants. The aim is to take a neglected, off limits urban space and turn it into a thing of beauty – be it with spray paint or with grass. Check out the “seed bombs”…

The line divides into three facets: “Made From” features track suits and apparel made from sustainably grown bamboo, cotton, crepe rubber, hemp, and rice husks.

All of the clothing in the “Reground” range is fully biodegradeable – right down to the zippers and buttons. One of the shirts in the Women’s “Reground” collection is made from from a mix of organic soybean and cotton fibres, and the neckline is inlaid with sunflower seeds.

Finally, everything in the “Recycled” line is exactly what it says – shoes and apparel made from 100% recycled plastic soda bottles, rubber, and others materials that otherwise would have sat in a landfill for eternity.

To prove it’s point, Adidas has taken the organic push and put it into more traditional marketing channels – like these green billboards made mostly from living plants and flowers:

Shoe pics via Sneaker Freaker

adidas originals: “the left-right project”.

Once again, Adidas asserts itself as the best brand ever. What I love about them is that they’re not just piggy-backing on a culture or pillaging its image in an effort to be cool. These aren’t just advertisements – they’re statements. Adidas actually fosters the creation of art and exploration of ideas.

I’m not being naïve; sure, then they use them to build their brand and promote a product. But there’s an artistic sincerity here that always rings true for me, and any brand getting shit this cool done is clearly at the top of its game.

Though the proper name is “The Superstar Film”, it’s travelling around as “The Left-Right Project”, which I think is a better name anyway. They’ve taken classic Superstar shell-toes and built gigantic 15-foot long models, sending the left show to the west coast and the right shoe to the east. On opposite sides of the continent, Sam Flores and Upper Playground customized one Superstar on the west while NYC/Paris collective Surface2Air handled the east. The results are as amazing as you’d expect.

The designs are sick, and “The Left-Right Project” is one more jewel in the Adidas crown. All day I dream about shoes… damn right.

adidas + beijing olympics: “hu jia” + “zheng zhi”.

A while ago, I wrote a post called “Impossible Is Nothing: Adidas Brands Beijing” right after Adidas (the greatest brand in the world, in my opinion) launched it’s “In 2008 Impossible Is Nothing” campaign for the Beijing Summer Olympics. Kicked off by stunning print ads and a beautiful spot called “Together”, the campaign promised a kind of cultural sincerity that’s more honest than the typically bombastic, trumpet-blowing Olympic advertising. The tone was set for a more personal campaign that didn’t shy away from the weight of national pride and identity Chinese athletes carry on their back, perhaps more than athletes from any other country in the world.

This brilliant collaboration between 180/TBWA, Psyop, and Stink continues with two beautiful spots telling the personal stories of Chinese Olympians. “Hu Jia” and “Zheng Zhi” continue the serene, poetic hand-drawn grey-scaled animation mixed with live footage that was introduced in “Together”. Besides their exquisite look and feel, these spots are supremely touching. I really feel a sense of athletes from a country that’s alienated in so many ways reaching out and wanting people to know who they truly are. Simple, beautiful work.

adidas: original games.

Adidas is my favourite brand in the world. Hands down. I worship everything they do, and their latest hype spot for the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics is old skool meets new school at its best. Plus, and it’s kind of a sad statement that this is surprising, it’s just really fun. A genuine, heart of joy kind of fun. I can’t stop watching it.

Plus, it’s got events called “Café Ping Pong”, “Freestyle Balance Beam”, and “100 Metre Dive Bomb”.

(Agency: 180 Amsterdam, Director: Henry Alex-Rubin @ Stink)

adidas originals: adi dassler.

Adidas is the shit. That’s all there is to it.

I’ve talked about my love for Adidas before. Proof that my brand loyalty is well-placed can be found in this a-may-zing new video they’ve created, which tells the story of the company through the eyes and story of it’s brainstorming founder, Adi Dassler. Combining stop-motion, digital animation, live action, vintage news clips, and other film techniques, this vid is literally not like anything you’ve seen before. As a sneaker freaker, I had a very emotional reaction to Adi’s story – I almost teared up. I’m naming my first born Adidas…

(Agency: 180 Amsterdam)

If you’re as into this as I am, you can even go online and download the Adi Dassler screensaver.

adidas australia: originals festival.

Adidas never lets me down. Just like The West Wing or Golden Grahms or Tori Amos, I can depend on Adidas to do what I need it to. If that includes creating a full-blown 8-bit pixellated website that invites you to create your perfect summer music festival, that I guess that’s what I need right now. I trust Adidas that much. If Adidas gave me Kool-Aid, I would drink it.

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The Originals Festival website is candy. Besides giving you that old-skool Commodore 64 feel that makes me feel warm all over, it lets you pick your dream line-up for a healthy list of scenester bands, DJs, and folk heroes. Then it gives you a box full of design tools to create a poster worthy of your earth-shatteringly cool headliners. It’s easy enough that design-fans like myself can have some fun with it, but complex enough that an actual graphics expert could do some seriously good shit. Once you’re done, people vote on which fests they’d be into and which suck. The winner gets a trip to the Berlin Festival and a shopping spree and all that stuff. Of course, it wasn’t until after I’d done the whole thing that I realized you had to be an Australian resident to officially enter. Feat not, no matter where you live everyone can add their own festival for voting.

Here’s my poster. I went for a heavy electro vibe, a little hippie-folk, and topped it off with M.I.A.

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Via Adverblog


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impossible is nothing: adidas brands beijing.

I think Adidas is the best brand in the world. I gush and swoon over almost everything they do, and their new campaign for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics is no different.

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Launched last week, “Together in 2008, Impossible is Nothing” is a clear build on the wildly successful Impossible is Nothing” campaign. Already having garnered word-wide cred with a gallery of sport stars not just from the West, but recognizable around the globe, it’s an ideal international concept to add an Olympic facet to.

The Olympics market themselves. Vancouver 2010, London 2012 – these are no brainers. But with Beijing something greater is going on. Nobody is friends with China. It’s a huge, secretive, maligned communist giant whose economy is now so powerful that the rest of the world is forced to deal with them economically whether they wish to or not. The mere fact that the IOC granted these games to Beijing is a political statement unto itself. China simply can’t be ignored. So why not throw our most glorified international human triumph party there and see if we can all become a little less weirded out by each other before someone freaks and presses the red button?But how will this notion of inclusion affect the branding of Beijing?

Featuring some of China’s most famous Olympians, the campaign blends live action with CGI and will begin an onslaught of TV, print, outdoor, digital, point-of-sale, and more as the games approach. In true Adidas style, the images are moving: each athlete soars and runs and dives to glory. The power of sport is beautifully emotionalized. Big deal, right? That clearly isn’t breaking new ground, but what is are how in these images the athletes are shown supported by literal seas of people… Chinese people. Nameless hordes of greyed-out people are given purpose by banding together to support the vividly coloured athletes. The allusion to a drone nation becoming more than the sum of it’s parts only by working together (hello, it’s called Communism…) is blatant. And startlingly powerful…

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I think Adidas has found the perfect way in. China is a social and political force that can’t be changed (at least not in the next 9 months), and it’s enormous differences to the normal Western locales that host the Olympics can’t ignored. So instead, they’ve honed a more subtle way to focus on the sporting glory of the games in a way that everyone will understand while also bringing to life an idea of their own reality that the Chinese will understand. The messaging has dual layers which compliment each other if you notice, but don’t negate each other if you don’t. It’s a complete gold medal bull’s eye. Adidas does it yet again.

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