- Adidas Originals rolled out a new global brand platform, “We Gave the World an Original. You Gave Us a Thousand Back,” that pays homage to the Trefoil iconography that’s been used in its marketing and products for over 50 years, according to a press release.
- The campaign, which introduces tweaks to the Trefoil’s visual scheme, promotes footwear through a guiding theme around threes. A trio of new short films showcases signature Superstar, Gazelle and Samba shoe models and how their cultural status has evolved over time.
- Each film is complemented by a triptych of still photography shot by Chadwick Tyler that features artists, celebrities and athletes. The marketing push honoring Adidas’ legacy comes as the company tries to reignite sales and put recent controversies in the rearview.
Good things come in threes in the latest global campaign from Adidas Originals, which celebrates the brand’s history while putting a fresh foot forward through a reworked visual identity. The sportswear marketer is adopting a new brand typeface and removing the “Adidas” inscription from beneath its signature Trefoil, an attempt to reduce clutter in the logo’s presentation, a spokesperson said. These moves are meant to herald a “new era for the brand,” according to the press release, a positioning that follows a run of controversies for Adidas related to its previous collaboration with Ye, the artist previously known as Kanye West.
The effort focused on triptychs throws a spotlight on the Superstar, Gazelle and Samba sneakers, illustrating their impact on sport, skate and fashion. On the storytelling front, Adidas has enlisted the help of three different artists to bring these products to life in distinct ways.
A short film helmed by Daniel Wolfe, founder of the production studio LoveSong, tracks how the Superstar went from a functional basketball sneaker to a hip-hop icon thanks, in part, to adoption by Run-DMC, a storied rap trio. A piece dedicated to the Gazelle, directed by Will Dohrn, follows a racer wearing the shoes as she sprints through different eras, eventually meeting up with pro skateboarders Mike Arnold and Miles Silvas. Finally, a third video for the Samba overseen by visual artist Justyna Obasi takes a similar time-hopping approach, soundtracked by T. Rex’s spacey “Cosmic Dancer.”
Along with the video component, Adidas has partnered with Chadwick Tyler on still photography that captures a cadre of famous faces who have championed Adidas and raised the Trefoil’s cultural profile over the years, including Zinedine Zidane, Jenna Ortega, Pusha T, Anitta, Hoyeon Jung, David Beckham, Jennie and Stormzy.
“We Gave the World an Original. You Gave Us a Thousand Back” follows a trying period for Adidas. The marketer’s lucrative collaboration with Ye on a Yeezy line of apparel collapsed last fall due to the rapper’s antisemitic comments. Adidas resumed selling some of its existing Yeezy stock in May, with executives pledging to donate a “significant” cut of the proceeds to organizations combating hate speech. The company in late July raised its full-year guidance following the success of the Yeezy drop, though it still expects an annual loss for 2023. The controversy was back in the news this week as CEO Bjorn Gulden said that he didn’t think Ye meant his antisemitic remarks.
A new look and global campaign could help Adidas recenter public attention on some of its core footwear offerings that carry less baggage. The Samba, for instance, has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past year after being sported by celebrities like Bella Hadid and trending on apps like TikTok.