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Creative Director's Choice: We Are Royale's Brien Holman on the Adidas and Donald Glover collaboration

Donald Glover requests an AirDrop at Coachella

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the work they think is the best out in the ad world — the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, Brien Holman, partner and executive creative director at We Are Royale talks about the intrigue the experiential marketing efforts Adidas put forth promoting its signature shoe from Donald Glover created.

Marketing is in a wonderful state of flux right now. It’s a combination of a few things; most notably, the accessibility of technology, which is contributing to how advertisers can directly target their audiences, alongside a shift in consumer expectations. Consumers welcome the unexpected moments, the surprises and especially the feeling of exclusivity. That’s exactly what Adidas did with the help of Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) at Coachella to promote his signature pair of Adidas Originals.

At the event, he AirDropped an image of the then-unannounced shoes to attendees, which came up on their phones as “Donald Glover is requesting to share a photo.” On face value, that’s absurd enough to draw attention. But for the attendees who were brave enough to accept Donald Glover’s photo, they were also gifted with a pair of the Originals for themselves.

This comes at a time when brands are connecting with their audiences through experiences and content rather than traditional paid media.

In addition to the stunt at Coachella, Adidas launched a set of short films featuring Donald Glover and Mo’nique that were tangential to the act of selling shoes. Instead, the films played into Donald Glover’s persona and used it as a halo effect on the product. Adidas just crafted an amazing marketing campaign masked as really good creative content without actually pushing the product name forward. They built intrigue and a piece of entertainment, and let the audience find the product on their own. Considering the signature Adidas Originals are completely sold out, it’s a lesson we can all take with us as we typeset the next product logo over the footage we just spent the past few weeks shooting.

Brien Holman is partner and executive creative director at creative and digital agency We Are Royale, based in Los Angeles and Seattle.

See the work by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien.

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