- Adidas and actor Donald Glover released five short films to coincide with the launch of three new co-created shoe styles, according to a company announcement.
- Glover's creative agency Royalty, which produced his latest film, "Guava Island," and the hit series "Atlanta," produced the short films to showcase the experiences people can have while wearing the shoes, which go on sale April 26. Glover appears in each film with comedian Mo'Nique, who pokes fun at his newfound fame and wealth.
- "Rich is a concept," Glover said in a statement. "With this project, I wanted to encourage people to think about how their stories can be told on their feet. Value isn't quantified by what you wear, rather the experiences from them." The short films are available to watch in sequence on YouTube.
Adidas's creative collaboration with Glover, who also performs as rapper Childish Gambino, follows an announcement earlier this month that the brand is teaming up with Beyonce as a creative partner. The German brand has focused more on streetwear and athleisure styles than some of its competitors have in recent years, and has pushed the boundaries of celebrity endorsements beyond professional athletes. Adidas, which has the most-shared logo on social media because of its association with international soccer stars, also has partnered with Kanye West on his popular Yeezy clothing line and with rapper and music producer Pharrell Williams.
The five short films starring Glover and Mo'Nique — along with a cameo appearance by professional skateboarder Na-Kel Smith — are funny and off-beat while weaving in shots of the new line of shoes. Incorporating the shoes more seamlessly into the films' storylines delivers Adidas' message in a way that viewers may perceive as more authentic than traditional ad placements. The partnership is in line with research showing that, as traditional advertising shrinks, brands are seeking higher-value product placements.
Glover recently used Apple's AirDrop feature to give away pairs of the new sneakers to attendees of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival during last week. Those who received a mobile notification of the shoes' image could then redeem for a free pair at a tent within the festival.
The new short films emphasize the Adidas brand experience, an important theme among young adults and teens who tend to seek original experiences with brands that they can also share on social media. Authenticity is meaningful to younger consumers who want to associate themselves with brands that demonstrate social awareness and responsibility. Those ideas are incorporated into the design of the new shoe models, which have intentional details like uneven stitching, inside-out eyelets and a moth logo that looks hand-painted.
"The partnership for me is about being able to exemplify what doing your own thing truly looks and feels like," Glover said in a statement about his collaboration with Adidas.