Creativity

Adidas’s ‘Impossible is Nothing’ campaign starring Muhammad Ali wins top marketing moment

By Minda Smiley | Reporter

March 31, 2016 | 4 min read

Adidas’s ‘Impossible is Nothing’ campaign featuring boxing legend Muhammad Ali was crowned the top marketing moment from the last 120 years at the Advertising Club of New York’s 120th anniversary party and annual meeting of members on July 19.

Impossible is Nothing
Impossible is Nothing

The campaign received the most votes in The Drum’s 120 Marketing Moments series, which this year showcased the top commercials, innovations and milestones that have happened within the industry over the past 120 years. All moments were chosen by Ad Club members and others working in the marketing & advertising industries.

Camille Imbert, creative director at digital agency Kettle, chose Adidas’s ‘Impossible is Nothing’ campaign as her favorite marketing moment because it “inspires you to push boundaries, set new goals and achieve greatness.”

Impossible is Nothing

Impossible is Nothing

“Rarely has a collaboration between a brand and an athlete been this strong and inspiring,” she said. “Adidas did not just embrace the top records and achievements of Muhammad Ali, but, by using one of his messages from the past, Adidas embraced his philosophy as a whole.”

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‘Impossible is Nothing’ was a global campaign released in 2004 by Adidas. At the time, the brand said that the campaign brought to life “the attitude Adidas shares with athletes around the world - the desire to push yourself further, to surpass limits, to break new ground.”

It was created by Amsterdam-based 180 and TBWA\Chiat\Day, which in 2002 had partnered to form Adidas’s global advertising agency 180/TBWA.

The second place winner was a 1994 commercial for Ikea created by Deutsch, which was one of the first spots to feature an openly gay couple. CEO of Deutsch NY Val DiFebo chose the ad as her favorite marketing moment because it “was so simple, yet so controversial and groundbreaking.”

Patagonia’s ‘Footprint Chronicles’ initiative, which was launched in 2011 as a way for the company to provide consumers with a transparent way to look at the brand’s corporate sustainability efforts, was the third place winner. Chosen by Mono’s founder and managing partner Jim Scott, the initiative is his favorite marketing moment because it “took consumers deep into its manufacturing via a rich digital experience, and let them see every step of the process so they could make informed decisions about the products they were buying.”

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