This month we take a look at the latest ad campaigns of leading sportswear brands, and find some more impressive than others.
nike – the roger effect
Nike’s latest campaign focuses around the living tennis legend that is Roger Federer. On 29th June, just after Wimbledon began, Nike released The Roger Effect. Set during a night-time tennis tournament under floodlights, Federer appears almost rockstar-like on his stage, the centre court. As he brings the score to a match point of 40-0 in his favour, the spectators in the stands strip off to reveal Nike sportswear underneath their regular clothes. They stand, waiting with eager anticipation. As soon as Federer serves the match winning point the music kicks in and the spectators bolt from the stadium, racing frantically through the streets, rackets in hand, clambering over mesh fences, until they reach their own games of tennis at local courts. The fun and energetic ad finishes with the tagline, “Inspiration unmatched”.
Nike backed this up with RO8ER, a congratulatory ad with attitude released on the day Federer won Wimbledon for a record-breaking eighth time. Set to stomping rock music, it features slow-motion close ups of Federer’s ball bouncing and racket twirling hands, and his custom Wimbledon-specific Nike’s: a number seven stitched in amongst London’s skyline along the shoe’s back heel. Following ball-slamming footage of Federer in action on the court, the ad ends with Federer’s fierce stare and the number 8 being incorporated into his name.
adidas – create positivity
Adidas launched their new campaign, Create Positivity, during this year’s ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) awards. With a combination of professional and self-shot footage on phones, the advert, set to Kid Cudi’s catchy song, Surfin’, includes athletes at all levels, from amateurs to professionals, and encourages teams and individuals to change the conversation from competitive online dislikes and nasty comments, to support, encouragement, acceptance and celebration.
REEBOK – crossfit nano 7 weave
Starring crossfit athlete Brent Fikowski, this advert is less creative than the others featured, which is also reflected in its much lower YouTube views. Reebok sponsors the annual CrossFit Games, which explains the connection, with the ad showing Reebok’s shoes being put to their designed use in a beach-side crossfit gym using standard action shots and product close-ups. Nothing new here.
under armour – unlike any
Under Armour’s latest campaign, Unlike Any, is definitely the most artistic on this list. It comprises five different adverts, each featuring a woman of sport and fitness who has overcome their own obstacles to become elite in their field. Each advert starts with a revolving camera giving it an otherworldly feel. Beautifully shot in vast natural or urban landscapes, the movement of the camera follows the physical flow of the athletes and the swirling thoughts in their heads, also represented by the words spoken and written by people other than the featured athletes, mostly modern wordsmiths: poets, rappers, musicians; and amongst them one ancient Greek, Aristophanes. Each less than a minute long, the adverts feel more like performance pieces.