adidas, a brand that has used cricket in its communication since 1998, has rolled out a new ad campaign - and with it, a fresh tagline. While it generated buzz with its 'Pure Cricket' campaign last year, this year, the brand has put together communication that conveys the message 'Bring It On', through cricketers from across the globe. The players in the campaign are Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Mallinga, and Dwayne Bravo.
Tushar Goculdas, director, marketing and sales, adidas India, tells afaqs! that the brand has increased its ad and marketing spends by 30-35 per cent, this time. Adding more clarity on the brand's overall stand, he says, "While the brand's attitude still remains 'Impossible is Nothing, 'Bring It On' is the campaign thought."
The current campaign retains the brand's core target group, that is, youngsters in the age group of 14-19 years. However, this time, it encourages the next generation to 'Bring It On'. The campaign seeks to inspire athletes and remind them of the significance of hard work, focus and self-confidence required in sports. The communication attempts to present doubts, insecurities and fear that cloud the minds of even the greatest athletes, and how they overcome these by honing their abilities.
The creative credit for the campaign goes to TBWA India, and the media AoR (agency of record) is Carat.
A two-minute film, featuring all five cricketers has been broken on the brand's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/adidascricket, and will be aired on television, shortly. Besides this, there are four other TVCs, one of which has been released on television. The film features Tendulkar, who is seen sweating it out in different ways. Uzer Khan has directed the films.
Of Insights and Inspiration
The campaign rides on the insight that wearing one's country crest while on the field is a dream, but has its share of challenges, particularly, the competing teams that pry into one another's weaknesses, the expectations of critics and fans, physical injuries, and the dreaded reality of 'loss of form'. 'Bring It On' tries to capture the essence of this struggle, and tells us how great players rise to the occasion in the face of doubt.
Another insight used is that the career and ability of a cricketer is shaped by what happens off the pitch (for instance, training sessions and personal targets), rather than on it. This campaign is thus about the players' self-belief and determination.
Goculdas adds that the campaign draws on insights gathered by the team through conversations with cricketers.
"As an authentic sports brand, we understand the mind of an athlete, and the hurdles athletes deal with," says Goculdas, adding, "In our constant endeavour to inspire and create strong emotional engagements with consumers, this campaign explores the challenges and fears these great players face and the journeys they take to overcome them. The insight is conveyed using our fantastic portfolio of top cricketers from across the world."
While the campaign is being launched across various media channels, the digital medium will be one of the key drivers.
adidas Gets a Tad Aggressive
All said and done, the brand has been perceived as somewhat subtle in terms of its presence on the advertising circuit, as compared to other brands in its space, such as Nike and Reebok. Will the 'Bring It On' repositioning campaign serve to give adidas some much-needed aggression?
This, Blah adds, depends on how much adidas is willing to spend on appropriate and adequate slotting of this campaign. Given that the campaign has broken after the initial World Cup matches, it sure looks like the ad spends are steep.
"Since the interest of the viewers in the game increases after the first few games, slots get more expensive from the quarter finals onwards, as compared to those at the start of the tournament," says Blah. He goes on to comment on how, given these facts, the timing of the campaign is apt.
Goculdas sums up, "Over the last two-and-a-half years, four or five sports seasons have come and gone, and adidas has been doing visible ad campaigns all through. This time, the tone of the campaign is such that it looks aggressive and achievement-oriented."