Advertising history. We reviewed the five best Adidas commercials throughout its history.
The history of Adidas has been defined as an authentic family soap opera. In his day we reviewed the story of Adolf and Rudolf Dassler in our article “Adidas vs. Puma, the story of two brothers confronted”; in the 40s the rivalry between brothers caused the split of Rudolf Dassler that led to the creation of the Puma brand.
After many family disputes between brothers, children and nephews, the Adidas house was bought in 1990 by Bernard Tapie, French businessman and former president of Olympique de Marseille for 243 million euros.Two years later, bankruptcy came to them. Nike took advantage of the situation to break into the European market with aggressive marketing campaigns. The hiring of world-class players was ahead of its time and gave us some of the best ads in history: “Good vs Evil” and “Airport”.
The Adidas resurgence
Adidas languished while his rival destroyed the advertising campaigns created by Wieden & Kennedy. It was not until 2004 and on the eve of the football world cup that would be held in Germany, that the brand decided to give a turn to its communication. They needed to reposition themselves as an inspiring sports brand, to compete with the famous “Just Do It” by Nike.
For this they collaborated with the Dutch agencies 180 and TBWA \ Chiat \ Day that analyzed the entire route of the brand throughout its history to get the claim that would change the history of Adidas. Muhammad Ali was one of the great standard-bearers of Adidas at the time. One of his most famous speeches said: “Impossible is not a fact, It’s an opinion, Impossible is not a declaration, It’s a dare, Impossible is potential, Is temporary, Impossible is nothing.”
These last three words summed up perfectly the message that Adidas wanted to communicate. For this they invested in all possible means to achieve the great start in the World Cup in Germany 2006. And, under the umbrella of “Impossible is nothing” they gave us four of the five best Adidas ads throughout its history. Let’s go see the best Adidas commercials.
5.- Emil Zatopek – 1995
In fifth position we find the only commercial that is not make it under the umbrella of “Impossible is Nothing”. A rare avis of the time that came closer to Nike ads than anything else. A tribute to Emil Zatopek who, thanks to his rigorous training, won four Olympic golds and beat no less than 28 world records in nine different specialties. He trained in the most extreme climates and added extra weight to his army boots. His philosophy was simple: “I prefer to suffer in training and not suffer in racing.” He earned the nickname “The human locomotive”.
Emil Zatopek died in 2000 as a result of a stroke, but Adidas allowed us to see his success story with an commercial for posterity.
4.- Jose +10 Impossible Team – 2006
The World Cup in Germany 2006 was the starting signal for the campaign +10. After a wave of hiring great players, these appeared in the commercial “José +10 Impossible Team”. The slogan had just been released and the brand had found its place. But they gave us one of the ads that delighted all the children who played football in street. The possibility of choosing the best world players for our team. Beckham, Zidane, Cisse, Robben, Riquelme, Lampard and Kahn among others and the surprises of Beckenbauer and Platini, who managed to integrate the commercial with the composition of old images with images created for the occasion.
3.- Impossible is Nothing – Nadia Comaneci – 2004
The “Impossible is Nothing” commercial with Nadia Comaneci was aired in the second wave of releasing claim in 2004. In this commercial we saw Nastia Liukin, a young gymnast who had in her gymnastics the Soviet genes. She was the daughter of the three-time medalist in Seoul in 1988, Valery and her mother, a member of the rhythmic gymnastics team at the same time. His precocious discovery (he could not participate in the Olympic Games in Athens because he was not 14 years old) led many to compare him with the great Nadia Comaneci.
The commercial used the same image composition system that Adidas used at the time. In it we saw Nadia and Nastia doing the mythical exercise in parallel bars that led them to achieve the first 10 in the history of the Olympic Games.
2.- Muhammad Ali vs Laila Ali – 2004
Right after the premiere of the slogan, the brand faced Muhammad Ali and his daughter, Laila Ali, in a combat. The technique of composition of images reached its maximum expression here. Retrieving images of Ali’s matches against Cleveland Williams, Ernie Terrell and George Foreman, they managed to face the legendary boxer with his daughter, also boxer Laila Ali. A revolutionary commercial for the history that still looks fresh and current today.
1.- Impossible is Nothing – Muhammad Ali
And we got to number 1, the best Adidas commercial. The commercial that premiered the slogan “Impossible is nothing” and changed the history of Adidas to get fully into the S.XXI and compete with Nike for the hegemony of sports marketing. A work as emotional as full of technical virtuosity. The technique of mixing old and current images allowed Adidas to produce the combat announcements with Laila Ali, Nadia Comaneci and Jose that we have seen in our list.
The “Impossible is Nothing” commercial shows us great athletes of the time such as Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Haile Gebreselassie running next to the legendary boxer. A voiceover narrates what is already a historical copy of advertising: “Some listen to themselves instead of listening to what others say, they are not easy to find, but when they do appear, they remind us that if you propose something, the criticisms make you doubt, it is good to believe … That there is no I can not, I do not dare or impossible, They remind us that it is good to believe that … Nothing is impossible. “
The commercial closes with Muhammad Ali challenging us with his movements and his gaze. A mythical commercial to save the brand.