Adidas Original's venture into the metaverse explained
Jam3, Media.Monks and client Adidas Originals have won the Best Merchandise/Wearables and Grand Prix at The Drum Awards for Metaverse. Learn from the award-winning case study.
Over the last years, adidas Originals felt it had lost its edge and share of mindspace among global Gen Z consumers, as they were increasingly seen by the public as a heritage brand—when their ambition is not just to be on the zeitgeist of culture, but actually shaping it. The brand aimed to reaffirm its position as a “champion of new originality” by creating new experiences and products that sit at the fringe.
So, the adidas Originals Global team tapped our experts in experience design and innovation to help create a hero brand and product activation that exists across the metaverse, as part of their SS22 Ozworld global media campaign. The objective of this campaign and activation was to reposition the brand as innovative, disruptive and desirable among the global Gen Z audience, and drive awareness and sales for three core lines from the Ozworld franchise.
Ozworld entails a collection of footwear products with otherworldly, fluid design, that have always been distinct and category-defining. Three in particular—Ozweego, Ozelia and Oznova—were the focus for SS22 and where we needed to direct the attention and spending power of Gen Z consumers.
Nowadays, everyone is competing for Gen Z’s brand loyalty, which is fueling a competitive landscape of brands inserting themselves into new, creative and digital-first realities where this audience exists. Enter: the metaverse. In order to reposition adidas Originals as a cultural leader, we couldn’t just follow other brands into these environments, we needed to create these virtual spaces ourselves, together with our consumers.
In celebration of adidas Originals’ latest Ozworld collection, we helped adidas Originals launch the world’s first personality based, AI-generated avatar creation platform, in collaboration with Ready Player Me. Designed to empower and open up the pursuit of self expression for all, the online Ozworld experience enabled users to create their unique digital selves, taking inspiration from the new Ozworld collection’s dynamic visual codes. These digital avatars could then be taken around the web exclusively with Ready Player Me, a cross-game avatar platform for the metaverse that allows anyone to explore virtual worlds with one consistent identity.
This web experience championed the essence of individual personalities rather than physical appearances. Users were prompted to answer a series of questions, including their favorite Ozworld footwear silhouette, in order to learn more about themselves. This character creation model was based on the five-factor model of personality, with each question surrounding a different personality pillar. The platform then translated users’ input into their own personal digital avatar. There are over 10M different permutations of characters, so even if people had the exact same personality test, their avatar would still be unique to them.
Each avatar included different body elements from the head down to the shoes. The experience allowed users to select from five different character base models and twelve different add-ons. While this virtual collection was inspired by adidas clothing, distinctive add-ons gave each character an ‘outer-worldly’ vibe—blending the digital and physical worlds. After generating their characters, users were invited to experiment by animating their avatars as well as digitally trying on and purchasing sneakers from the Ozworld collection. Moreover, all users were able to download their Ozworld alter ego, which they could deploy as stickers and GIFs across their social media accounts.
From start to finish, we conceptualized, designed and developed the web experience from the ground up, including the digital platform and corresponding experience, characters, characters’ garments and add-ons, and even the surrounding social campaign assets. All designs were completed in-house by the agency’s motion team and CGI artists. Above all, the Ozworld experience in collaboration with adidas Originals was the first brand partnership to push the limits of the ReadyPlayerMe platform, allowing each unique avatar to freely traverse the web to any one of over 1,500 different metaverse apps and games.
The results were impressive: we welcomed 250k unique users to the web experience in the first week, 428k avatars were generated in the first ten days following the launch, and 10m unique avatars were created in total—all inspired by 3 new Ozworld silhouettes.