Adidas launches its World Cup campaign: All In or Nothing

Official sponsor Adidas has today launched the first part of its World Cup advertising campaign: a film directed by Fernando Meirelles that sees Lionel Messi experience an edgy and exciting World Cup dream….

Official sponsor Adidas has today launched the first part of its World Cup advertising campaign: a film directed by Fernando Meirelles that sees Lionel Messi experience an edgy and exciting World Cup dream….

The ad will air on TV for the first time during the half-time break of this evening’s UEFA Champions League Final, but can be seen now in a YouTube version below:

The spot is directed by Meirelles, famed for directing City of God, alongside co-director Cassiano Prado. It was created by ad agency TBWA and is set to an exclusive track by Kanye West.

The launch of this film shows that Adidas has learnt from its experiences in the 2010 World Cup, where its visually compelling but complicated campaign was brutally trounced by Nike and its release of the epic Write The Future spot, which was simple and exciting compared to Adidas’s complex, integrated campaign.

Nike released its major World Cup spot a few weeks ago, but this ad gives it a run for its money. There are similarities between the two campaigns, particularly in the taglines – ‘Risk Everything’ for Nike and ‘All In Or Nothing’ for Adidas. Neither tag is particularly spellbinding and both are essentially saying the same thing: that to play in the World Cup will put you under huge pressure and requires great commitment. Well, yes.

The major difference between the two sport brand behemoths therefore comes in the tone of the two films. Nike has thrown everything at its spot. It has an all-star cast, with even The Incredible Hulk making an appearance, but its feel is light-hearted, with a number of jokey asides. Adidas’s film, by contrast, is tight and edgy, and at just one minute long, makes the four-minute Nike spot look a little bloated.

Photos from the shoot for the Adidas film

The true test of who will come out top in the marketing World Cup this time will come during the tournament itself, however. This year’s event has been much touted as the first social media World Cup, and in anticipation of this, Adidas has shot over 100 films designed to be released via Twitter and email. These films have been created in response to imagined scenarios that may take place during the World Cup, so depending on what happens, some of them are destined to remain forever on the cutting room floor while others will shine.

At the end of the YouTube version of Adidas’s film, it asks viewers to click one of two buttons – ‘all in’ or ‘nothing’. Click ‘all in’ and you are taken to a further site where you can then sign up to follow Adidas during the World Cup and be party to all its social media activity, or click ‘nothing’ and you can opt out. It is here that the marketing game gets most intriguing – these epic film ads remain hugely popular with viewers (Nike’s ad is on 66 million views and counting on YouTube alone), but the brand that can be nimble, and most importantly, interesting during the tournament itself seems likely to take the endgame.

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