Sunday, 22 July 2012

3 big brands, 3 Olympic adverts - Vol. I - Adidas

The Olympics are ready to begin. We can see almost all the adverts during the last weeks are related to the Games. I´m going to share during three weeks a very interesting review of 3 big brands that are rolling out their Olympic adverts: Adidas, British Airways and Omega.

You can find this review an other interesting material about advertising at "AD Breakdown", the BBC´s magazine's review of advertising.


THE ADVERT: Adidas, Take The Stage

THE BRIEF: Make viewers truly empathise with their Olympics heroes by showing the pain, disappointment and gruelling hard work that goes into preparing for a medal.

THE SCHTICK: Footage of Team GB's stars preparing to compete, intercut with gritty shots of young urban types on the streets of Britain. A rousing voiceover urges all of them to take the knocks necessary to reach the podium.

THE BREAKDOWN: So you thought being an Olympic athlete was fun and glamorous, did you? Beer and skittles and glory? You were wrong.

As stars Phillips Idowu, Jessica Ennis, Tom Daley and Louis Smith gear themselves up, a narrator sombrely reminds them of the pitfalls that stand between them and glory.

"Take the knocks, the blows, the heartbreaking disappointment," a narrator orders, in terms reminiscent of the film Trainspotting's opening scene.
He continues: "Take the backlash, the criticism, and be written off by people who think you're just a kid."

It's not exactly Whitney Houston's sentimental Olympic anthem One Moment In Time, the usual template for footage of sporting endeavour.

But the result is oddly uplifting.

The viewer is invited to share in the misery and physical discomfort a top-level athlete must endure.

Implicitly, the consumer then shares in the emotional journey to any eventual triumph.

It's a smart move, especially in the age of reality television and instant celebrity, to emphasise hard work and sacrifice over medals and glory. The campaign is complemented by a series of online interviews with each of the featured athletes about the highs and lows they have encountered en route to Stratford.

"Take the risk of losing your pride," continues the narrator, over shots of Daley on the diving board and then of an inner-city estate. It's a very British sentiment - the possibility of failure is something it's hard to imagine in an advert aimed at American audiences, for instance.

And in an understated way, the clip is subtly patriotic - a flash of a Union flag painted on the fingernail of a girl in a hooded top intercut with hopeful-looking youthful faces.

The shots of urban UK lends the advert a further note of authenticity, in contrast to the slick, big-budget commercials that populate airtime during the Olympics.

THE VERDICT: Patrick Burgoyne, editor, Creative Review: "They've gone for quite a youthful approach and that's all about who their target audience is. Their take on Britishness, with the east London setting, is quite interesting and very forward-looking. With big sporting events, there's a tendency to go very bombastic. But this is quite restrained. It's all about the athletes themselves. When you see the print adverts from this campaign, what you notice is their simplicity and cleanliness and I think they've got it right."

Read the riginal piece of news here

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