Adidas’ Past Creates Its Future

By Workshop Team On January 24, 2017

On Wednesday, the company introduced a 90-second film “Original is never finished,” which features a mix of modern creators such as Snoop Dogg, hip-hop artist Stormzy, basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and artist Petra Collins, set to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

“We have in the past challenged ‘outward’-facing concepts like what it meant to be a superstar, or the dystopian notion of the future,” explained Alegra O’Hare, VP-global communications at Adidas Originals & Core. “For the first time ever, we decided to point the attention in, and challenge the very ethos of our brand and the notion of what it means to be a true original.”

The digital video, which was created by Johannes Leonardo, will help introduce additional marketing expected to last through 2017. The New York-based agency first began working with Adidas in 2014.

Wes Phelan, creative director at Johannes Leonardo, noted that the past empowers the future. “We wanted the film to reflect the rich past of all creative spheres: music, art, film and sport,” he said. “Starting with the music, we intentionally chose a track that had been done multiple times before to prove our point—original is never finished.”

In recent years, Adidas has positioned its brand as one for creators and helped to hone that message through campaigns such as “Your Future Is Not Mine” from Johannes Leonardo last year. The company, which had long been sidelined to rival Nike, has experienced a revival with consumers through fashion partnerships with Kanye West. Adidas reported a 20% rise in North American sales for the third quarter and commands about 9% of the U.S. athletic footwear market, according to NPD Group.

The EQT line again uses the heritage of the brand—the collection was first introduced in the 90s—but modernizes it for today’s consumer. The relaunched shoes will be available for sale this month.