Just catch culture and you are cool <but no one buys your shit>.
Just catch performance and you aren’t cool enough <or “badge worthy” enough> to hit sales critical mass.
Performance is easy … although many companies seem to forget that they have something functionally important to offer people.
Culture is not easy. Catching it, at the appropriate time, is part luck <because we consumers are not only often illogical we are also inconsistent and incredibly fickle with short interest in fad> and is part smart planning & assessment.
And while capturing culture & performance, while smart, is difficult and elusive it is even more challenging to execute (in a relevant non-stupid way).
All that said.
Adidas is actually doing a great job at the moment catching culture without sacrificing performance.
Nike used to … but have lost their way (different post).
Doing a great job. Captured almost perfectly in the new Adidas tv spot using Katy Perry’s song (and a good choice of a song) … and the running shoe ad is featuring Katy Perry.
Huh? Didn’t I say they hadn’t sacrificed performance? Yup.
In general Katy is wacky … but in a good way (and I will write another post just about her & her music because she needs to be taken more seriously in my eyes).
While she is wacky … and brings her wackiness to an Adidas commercial … she does it in tandem with superior global athletes. Therefore Adidas becomes culturally relevant without losing its performance delivery.
The television execution is called “Everybody Runs.” Watching the longer one minute version you see a variety of running … Beckham killing it, Derrick Rose warming up, Messi being Messi and Katy the casual runner who looks like she’s having a good time … oh … and the costumed San Francisco Marathon (where there is someone dressed as a robot).
Adidas Global Brands guy Erich Stamminger says the campaign “brings together the diversity of the brand under one strong roof. From the court to the catwalk, the stadium to the street, we are giving an authentic statement with credibility that only Adidas has.”
I actually believe they pulled it off. They are authentic ‘fashion’ and yet authentic ‘performance’.
Adidas “all in” 2012 Commercial with Derrick Rose, Messi, Beckham and Katy Perry
- :30 second version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3XwVMs-rmA
- :60 second version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjMgUanz6h0
Personally … I wish more larger companies would do marketing that showcases women only.
All adidas (women): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIsvor0ID_U&feature=relmfu
I have a folder with ideas for companies if I ever meet them.
And, of course, I have quotes and music selections waiting to be used (when appropriate).
While a marketing idea is … well … a marketing idea … words or music can bring an idea to life in ways that actually breakthrough enough in the morass of messaging we absorb everyday …
Personally I believe the opening to this very random song would be perfect for where the brand is today and what they are trying to do (which is to create a world view Adidas style):
It would be a hauntingly strong message and ad:
New world in my view king britt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3t0V2XB9DU
Adidas … even if you don’t use my idea <which you can use for free> … well done.