ADIDAS EUROPE, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS | BERLIN, GERMANY
We created a global social media campaign, before there was social media. In the run-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Adidas wanted to highlight their support of 10 important Olympic athletes they were associated with. Instead of doing big TV, we convinced them that creating an online content series would create a more authentic, credible relationship with a very culturally savvy and hip online audience. Nike was doing big ads and big flash - we went for hilarious, self-deprecating and subtle.
We shot 10 webisodes of well-known British comedian, Lee Evans, “training” around the world with these super-athletes. Titled, “The Road to Sydney”, in the months preceding the games, each webisode was uploaded alongside a video game, allowing our audience to train right along. I felt strongly the overall art direction needed to feel opposite to Nikes’ hyped-up sizzle – we were spare, cool, graffiti-like. Real. Viral.
In the days before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and with just an ‘Invite a Friend’ button on the site and hoarding posters in key urban areas around the UK and Europe, we built a very large and loyal following. This successful campaign and the intrinsic audience we attracted, paved the way for a radical shift in Adidas marketing spend, moving far more budget to online in the years to come. Road to Sydney videos are still on YouTube and getting hits 16 years later.