Friday, October 3, 2008

adidas Launches Evolution of Impossible is Nothing

Amsterdam / Herzogenaurach / Beijing - March 6, 2007

In adidas’ new global campaign athletes take us behind the scenes to a pivotal place in their journey to Impossible is Nothing

adidas presents the evolution of its brand thought Impossible is Nothing with a campaign that encourages everyone to take their first step in reaching their impossible. Through stories of real people attempting and achieving what once seemed like impossible goals, adidas hopes to inspire people to think about their own obstacles and how to overcome them.

More than 30 international sports stars and everyday athletes tell their ‘Impossible’ stories using their own hand-drawn illustrations and paintings. Each athlete chose a defining moment in their life and then illustrated it through images and words which would later be combined to create the campaign. The campaign will launch with a globally integrated execution on television/on-line, retail and print on Tuesday March 6, 2007.

“With this campaign we get a glimpse of the athletes not at the finish line, but rather at a pivotal point in their journey,” explained Eric Liedtke, Senior Vice President Global Brand Marketing, adidas Brand. “When you witness the victory, the end result, it is not always clear how they got there or what they had to overcome along the way. By sharing the journey and, more specifically, a challenge that was encountered along the way we get to a place that is truly inspiring and not often seen. We believe that by giving everyone a glimpse behind the scenes of lives of these athletes, we really will be encouraging them to attempt their own journey.”

The unique content was created by inviting the athletes to spend time in an art studio with a toy box of art supplies and allowing them to bring their story to life in their own way. This created a wealth of material which consumers will see in commercial films, posters, books, documentaries, exhibitions and even clothing designs. In film, print, digital, and retail content, the athletes’ real-life experiences come to life through animated films and static images created by the athletes themselves. The results are deeply personal, edgy and refreshingly honest.

Highlights from the new campaign include David Beckham telling how he braved death threats from fans after the 1998 FIFA World Cup. All Blacks rugby legend Jonah Lomu talks about the challenges he faced when told of the possibility of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair and US basketball star Gilbert Arenas explains the reason he wears the number 0 on his shirt.

The integrated campaign will launch simultaneously on a global and local level and includes 21 TV commercials, 15 documentaries, 1 long-format film, behind the scenes footage, print, large scale outdoor as well as exclusive digital content to be found on The artwork created by the athletes will also be featured in a travelling exhibition that kicks off in March.

The concept, created and executed by adidas’ global advertising partner 180 Amsterdam (180/TBWA) is the latest in a long line of successful collaborations between the two in recent years. From the original ‘Impossible is Nothing’ launch campaign in 2004 which was built around Muhammad Ali, to the memorable meeting of English ‘kicking gods’ David Beckham and Jonny Wilkinson and, most recently, the award-winning football World Cup campaign +10.

“We are all immensely proud of the campaign. I think the team has managed to encapsulate an honesty and truth rarely seen by the athletes. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all advertising could be this inspiring and meaningful?” Richard Bullock, Executive Creative Director, 180 Amsterdam.

adidas has a long history of challenging the impossible. The adidas core brand message was, and remains today: “Impossible Is Nothing” .

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