John Hunt: What if instead of putting the brand “in the spot” you let your audience spot the brand?

February 21, 2011

Adidas came to TBWA\London with a big challenge: reach the active football-crazed kids who aren’t sitting in front of their TVs. So, they brought the world’s most famous football player, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, to London. With only three hours allotted, they skipped the TV spot endorsement idea and unleashed him to the public via an adidas-branded helicopter.

In the weeks leading up to his arrival, TBWA\London seeded content and cryptic messages throughout the web, hinting where Messi will be. The first stop was Hackney Marshes where local teams were in the midst of a game. The second was Brick Lane in East London where they held an on-street “kit amnesty.” Here fans were able to trade in their old boots for new F50 adizeros whilst shaking hands with Messi.

Thousands took photos and video and shared it throughout the web. 368,000 tweets, 3.5 million new adidas Facebook fans and 41% of the entire UK saw it. More proof that a unique idea can earn more media than a pre-planned schedule could ever buy.

For any comments or suggestions, send an email to Ulrich Proeschel.

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