Adidas evolves ‘Impossible is Nothing’ campaign

Turning the usual formula for leveraging star power inside out, the sports brand's global campaign hits Canada and the US on Monday. Featured are inspirational vignettes by celebs like David Beckham. But rather than focus on sport prowess, the theme is how everyone can handle tough challenges.

On March 12, Adidas’ multifaceted global marketing campaign, which broke in Europe last week, will begin rolling out in North America. The aim is to make the sports marketer’s Impossible is Nothing brand even more universal, building on the success of the rousing tag coined in 2004 and centred on boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

In Canada, more than 30 international sports celebs and everyday athletes will star in TV commercials on MuchMusic, the Comedy Network and several sports stations. Cinema spots will run in Cineplex Entertainment’s Cineplex Odeon and Galaxy theatres and in Famous Players’ Coliseum, Colossus and Silver City cinemas. As well, the creative will be featured on a large-scale billboard in Toronto’s Yonge/Dundas Square.

There’s also an exceptionally rich new microsite featuring, for example, soccer icon David Beckham describing how he handled an onslaught of death threats after being red-carded in the 1998 World Cup. Unique content was created by inviting athletes – including pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, NBA all star Gilbert Arenas, famed sprinter Allyson Felix, and rugby champ Jonah Lomu – to spend time being filmed in an art studio bringing their stories to life in very personal paintings and drawings. The content was used in a viral teaser campaign, and then adapted for commercials, posters, books, documentaries, exhibitions and clothing designs that will roll out internationally in the near future.

The second phase of the campaign, featuring creative specifically designed to support the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 and the Canadian Soccer Association, will launch in June. Spots will feature Canadian goalie Asmir Begovic, Beckham, and aspiring soccer players from U.K. A final phase of the Impossible is Nothing campaign will break late summer.

Adidas’ global advertising partner, 180 Amsterdam (180/TBWA), created and executed all phases of the Impossible is Nothing campaign. Canadian media buys are being handled by Toronto-based Carat Canada.