Adidas is throwing caution to the wind for its latest advert by uniting global football stars Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema to douse the flames on the haters that have criticised them and the brand recently.
The self-aware campaign acknowledges that #ThereWillBeHaters but reasons that the top players use negative comments from fans and opponents to motivate themselves to perform even better.
It is an edgier approach from Adidas’ football business, tapping into controversy around Suarez’s previous misdemeanours and the lukewarm reception Real Madrid fans have shown to both Benzema and Bale to flout its confidence in a market it still dominates despite recent sales troubles.
The Iris Worldwide-created advert launches today (19 November) and whirlwinds viewers through the perceived lives of the personas of ‘Target Man’ Luis Suarez, ‘Hero’ Gareth Bale, ‘Golden Boy’ James Rodriguez and ‘Hip Hop VIP’ Karim Benzema, offering an exaggerated glimpse of what the haters hate about them the most.
Subtle nods to social media’s role in fuelling the anger from the public pervades the ad, which ends with the strapline “They hate your shiny new boots. They hate your boots… because they wish they were in them”.
It is the first time Adidas has concentrated on all four players in one campaign, using their playful characteristics as a counterpoint to top star Lionel Messi’s performance driven campaigns.
Adidas is using the ad to promote its adizero f50 boot, which fans were given a first glimpse at the weekend when Bale and Rodriguez debuted them against Getafe.
The confident strut is likely to extend to other parts of Adidas’ marketing in 2015, touching what it has heralded as its most ambitious brand campaign to date. Strong football sales boosted the company’s sports performance wholesale revenues by 7 per cent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2014. However lower consumer spending in Russia and a weak Golf business made sure that its bottom line failed to grow in the period.
To combat the decline with better marketing, the business erected individual global brand teams for all its sporting categories to speed up the transferral of insights between its innovation and communications teams through a leaner structure.