- Adidas unveiled its 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, called "Creativity Is the Answer," in a news release. The push features 56 sports figures, or "creators," as the campaign calls them, including Leo Messi, Caroline Wozniacki, Aaron Judge and Justin Turner.
- A 90-second, soccer-themed spot features the musician Pharrell Williams and takes viewers backstage at an elaborate show, where the large cast of athletes show off their skills and are joined by other celebrities. The athletes included in the campaign will create a range of content to share across their personal social media channels, Adidas said.
- Adidas is also launching an experience that spans mobile, social media, digital and broadcast. It will focus on New York City, London, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris and Los Angles, with custom content detailing how different creators are shaping sports culture in a given city. Fans are urged to create their own content and join the conversation via the hashtag #HereToCreate on social media.
The FIFA World Cup, which starts June 14, is an enormous draw for viewers globally, and Adidas is attempting to match that level of interest with a campaign that deploys a team of 56 diverse sports influencers, or "creators." Beyond the video creative, the apparel marketer is clearly trying to drum up user-generated content by encouraging followers to share their own content on social media along with their favorite stars, which is part of its effort to establish a larger brand narrative around the soccer tournament.
Adidas is focusing the campaign on several key global markets, but has included some celebrities with largely U.S.-based followings, such as the hip-hop artist A$AP Ferg and the model Karlie Kloss. This could be a bid to draw interest from American consumers who might be less familiar with soccer and have less interest in the World Cup this year. The U.S. team didn't qualify for the 2018 tournament, and TV ratings and general interest across the country are expected to take a hit. Nielsen data reported by Bloomberg show U.S. viewers tend to only watch games when the American team is playing.
Adidas' World Cup strategy fits in with other, elaborate campaigns the brand has recently run around closely-watched sporting events. For the Boston Marathon in April, it created 30,000 videos — one for each registered runner — in under 24 hours. The personalized videos were stitched together from data generated by radio-frequency identification chips attached to participants' race bibs and to street mats.