Adidas launches biggest campaign to keep Nike at bay during World Cup

Adidas is taking an unusual approach to engendering loyalty among social media followers by encouraging them at the end of its star-studded World Cup ad to opt out of CRM initiatives and Twitter updates if they can’t demonstrate they “understand Adidas’s philosophy and approach to football”.

The final frame of the Youtube ad will ask people to click ‘all in’ or ‘nothing’ buttons, a reference to the campaign’s ‘all in or nothing’ name. Those that choose ‘all in’ will be connected  “to everything Adidas has to offer” on Twitter and via CRM initiatives during the World Cup but those that choose ‘nothing’ will not.

In a statement, Adidas says: “If consumers decide against joining Adidas and its FIFA World Cup communication, Adidas is happy to let them leave the team as it focuses on quality over quantity in its social media audiences.”

The ‘all in or nothing’ campaign is Adidas’s biggest ever campaign in terms of media spend. It is led by a TV ad (see above) called ‘Leo Messi’s World Cup Dream’ starring brand ambassador’s such as the titular Argentinean striker, Dani Alves and Luis Suárez and features a track by Kanye West.

Tom Ramsden, global brand marketing director of Adidas football, says: “This advert presents the “#allin or nothing” attitude by showcasing the dedication and commitment required to winning this great tournament. Giving anything less than everything will not win the World Cup. At Adidas, we believe the only way to play sport, unlock your potential and get the most out of the biggest event in sport is to be ‘all in’.”

The TV ad, which was created by TBWA/Worldwide and directed by City of God’s Fernando Meirelles, breaks during coverage of tonight’s (23 May) Champions League final and is backed by social, in-store, and e-commerce pushes as well as experiential and PR activity that will see a branded media hub on display throughout Brazil.

Adidas’s budget for the campaign reflects the importance of the World Cup as it looks to fend off the challenge from rival Nike for supremacy in the football apparel market.

Adidas has targeted €2bn (£1.6bn) from football sales this year as it looks to offset sales declines across many of its key markets and categories. Group sales fell 6 per cent year-on-year to €3.5bn (£2.9bn) in its latest quarter. 

Nike launched its World Cup platform last month under the similarly dramatic ‘risk everything’ umbrella. 

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