[Our marketing guru Johnee99 posted this to his blogspot two summers ago, towards the end of June 2010/WC2010. We had planned to reblog it back then, belatedly came back to it this week and decided to finally get it up.
We’ll have to get him to write up his thoughts on more recent footy marketing efforts, like Nike’s latest “My Time is Now” campaign.]
Watching as many World Cup matches as possible over the last 2 weeks, I have seen my share of the 2 tentpole commercials from Nike and Adidas. I actually saw the Nike “Write the Future” commercial well before the WC started and my wife had to force me to turn it off after the 10th time. I saw the Adidas “Zidane” piece on TV and was thoroughly bored. Why? Nike put the fan (me) at the center of the message. For the commercial to work, I had to identify with it, embrace it and care about it. The Adidas commercial completely forgets this–it’s a dystopic sci-fi explosion of ego and false drama that separates its athletes from their fans, creating some kind of otherworld where only gods play. I don’t care what happens because I don’t feel at all connected to these people.
Adidas has given the consumer ersatz fantasy; a “future” not written by the people, but by a crap art director. Nike, on the other hand, implies each of us in the writing of history–it is the fans at every turn that are writing the future (kid ripping Rooney poster off wall/Youtube and Facebook Ronaldhino tributes/everyman Homer Simpson Ronaldo spoof). As of today, Ronaldo is the only star from the commercial that is still in the World Cup–everyone else making early and unremarkable exits (Ronaldhino not even chosen for Brazil’s WC squad)–yet, this commercial still has wheels.
More than the athletes it sponsors, Nike has written a love letter to their fans. These fans also happen to be the audience for the commercial and most importantly they are the people buying Nike products around the world. Nike keeps the consumer at the center in a deeply aspirational way.
This is the key to any marketing campaign: make your customer the hero. Once they feel a part of your message, as opposed to a spectator, they will engage.
Here are the videos:
Nike “Write The Future”
Adidas “Fast v Fast”