To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Adidas brand’s most iconic three stripe shoe and their best-seller, The Originals Superstar, they’ve launched a new ad campaign from New York agency Johannes Leonardo.
Adidas Original Superstar Ad Campaign
The 90 second Adidas Originals Superstar launch spot, directed by Karim Huu Do, stars Pharrell Williams, David Beckham, Rita Ora and Damian Lillard, who each challenge the conventional definition of superstardom — “it’s not about the number of views, likes or shares,” says Mr. Williams in the spot; “it’s not about trying to be the next big thing,” says Mr. Beckham.
The Launch Spot:
With the new campaign, Adidas aims to “relaunch” the sneaker and draw attention to the Originals brand in a way recent campaigns have not, said Alexander Matt, senior director-global brand communications for Adidas Originals.
“This is such an iconic footwear style for us. It marks our beginning,” said Mr. Matt. “It gives us the opportunity to focus on the brand.”
The Original Superstar Shoe:
The brand push comes as the Originals line begins to drive retail sales on the style-driven side of the business. The Originals line experienced a “double-digit sales increase” during the period, while overall sales on the retail side were up 11%.
Adidas tapped New York-based creative agency Johannes Leonardo for the push in June 2014.
“We wanted to be authentic to the notion of superstar and to do that we had to subvert the perception of it,” said agency co-founder Leo Premutico, with the idea being that real stars work for an audience of one — themselves. “It’s easy these days to equate superstardom with fame and the amount of view counts, but the most important creative quality is courage.”
The agency sought to incorporate this idea during the creative process as well, which is why it selected Mr. Huu Do to direct the spot, Mr. Premutico said. His “brave” choice to shoot in black-and-white gave the spot a timeless feel that matched the nature of the shoe, he added.
The creatives also used the Adidas logo — three stripes — to scratch out the word “superstar” throughout the creative in the campaign, which includes online video, print, social, digital and outdoor. “It makes a really provocative statement in one symbol about how Adidas feels about the notion of superstar,” said Jan Jacobs, co-founder of Johannes Leonardo. (via )
describes the effort as follows:
SUPERSTAR IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS . TO RE-LAUNCH THE ICONIC ADIDAS SUPERSTAR SHOE AND RE-ESTABLISH ITS CULTURAL RELEVANCE, WE DARED TO QUESTION WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SUPERSTAR IN TODAY’S WORLD.
Launched in 1969, the Superstar lives at the heart of the adidas Originals brand and was once renowned for its place in rebellious street culture.
In 2015, the shoe needed to reassert its dominance with a fresh voice and a new conversation to form a connection with a new generation. One with different values and aspirations from the era when it was first introduced.
Popular culture has completely redefined the notions of self-expression, originality, and creativity. We live in a fame-obsessed society where people are motivated to action based on the notoriety that might result
We began by questioning the very thing the world is chasing, fueling a conversation about validation-seeking behavior and celebrity worshipping – suggesting that true superstars only have an audience of one.
Because only by stripping away, can superstar be built back up with its true, original meaning and inspire a new era of creators who have the courage to create from deep within, following nothing but their instincts.
No validation, no applause, no likes needed.
The campaign launched with a 90 second film featuring globally recognized superstars David Beckham, Pharrell Williams, Rita Ora and Damian Lillard, each questioning the current notion of superstar and challenging its place in society.
The work debuted with takeovers in cities throughout the globe and will continue to rollout across all media in 50+ markets. adidas Originals aims to bring creative courage back to its democratic roots and empower a generation who hungers for it by encouraging a debate online under the hashtag #OriginalSuperstar
Welcome to the new era of the original Superstar.
Adidas bolstered its ad budget by 200 million euros to reach 14% of sales, up from 13% last year, Herbert Hainer, chief executive at Adidas told “The Guardian” last August.
However, Mr. Matt said the rising budget did not influence the size and scope of the campaign, which was already in the works at that point. He declined to reveal the budget.
The adidas Originals Superstar is available in stores worldwide and
Agency: JOHANNES LEONARDO
Director : Karim Huu Do
Director of Photography : Mattias Montero
Editor: Biff Butler
Music: Cliff Martinez
Sound Design : Q Department
US Production Designer : Mark Snelgrove
UK Production Designer : Mikey Hollywood
US Stylist : Heidi Bivens
US Makeup : Samelia Miller
UK Costume Designer : Hannah Edwards