1 – Procter & Gamble – Best Job
Arguably the most memorable Olympics 2012 ad, Procter & Gamble champions mums in this commercial titled ‘Best job’. The tear jerker, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, follows four child athletes on their path to the London Olympic Games, supported, cared for and encouraged by their mothers every step of the way.
2 – Nike – Find Your Greatness
Nike does it again. Now famous for its ambush marketing tactics around major global sporting events, the sports apparel giant launched ‘Find your greatness’ in 25 countries yesterday to coincide with the opening ceremony. Cleverly avoiding any mention of London 2012 and the Olympic rings, the ad features places across the world with ‘London’ in their names, along with local everyday athletes enjoying their sports. The ad was created by Nike’s longterm agency partner Wieden + Kennedy.
3 – Coca-Cola – Move to the Beat
Mother London, Mark Ronson and Coca-Cola traveled the world to create a new dance track using the sounds of sport from 5 Olympic hopefuls.
4 – Omega – Star Me Up
A remix of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Start me up’ sets the pace for this commercial with the same title for Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympics 2012. The ad lingers on the moments right before the start of a race or event, the tension felt by the athletes as they hone their focus for the task ahead.
5 – McDonald’s – Rivals
The Olympic spirit lives within us all. And when gold medals don’t provide enough motivation for greatness, McDonald’s is proud to serve the Happy Meals, Big Macs, and Fries that put everyone in the mood for a little competition.
6 – British Airways – London Calling
British Airways has launched its Olympic advert as anticipation builds ahead of the Games. It features one of BA’s jets strolling through London and showcasing landmarks such as Trafalgar Square and the Palace of Westminster, before taking in the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Best of all though, it is set to the soundtrack of The Clash’s London Calling
7 – Adidas – What will you take?
Among others, Olympic Games sponsor Adidas created ‘What will you take?’ in support of Team Great Britian in partnership with agency Sid Lee. The colourful advert touches on all aspects of being an Olympian, both good and bad, as it challenges the athletes to take the stage and embrace this fleeting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
8 – Icy Dew – Sixty Percent
Taking a break from the blood, sweat and tears approach, Coca-Cola bottled water brand Icy Dew created this amusing ’60 per cent water’ TVC in partnership with BBH Shanghai ahead of the Games. While this one might not stir the Olympian in you, it will certainly make you chuckle.
9 – Powerade – Power Through
Another Wieden + Kennedy addition, Powerade‘s ‘Power through’ Olympics advert focuses on “the line between breaking point and breaking through”, the extra effort that makes the difference between those athletes that go home with a medal and those that return disappointed. More muscles, more tension and another emotionally charged voice-over, the real stuff of Olympics advertising.
10 – Samsung – Are You Ready?
Cheil Worldwide launched this ‘Are you ready?’ ad for Olympic sponsor Samsung in support of its Galaxy S3 model across 20 countries this week. Olympics ambassador David Beckham signals the start of the event by kicking a ball against a gong in an impressive long-range shot.
11 – Visa- The Difference
Worldwide sponsor Visa has been putting its name to the Olympic Games for 25 years. This ad, titled ‘The difference’, was created by TBWA Chiat Day Los Angeles and narrated by Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman. This is just one in a series of Sepia-coloured ads marking Visa’s quarter century partnership with the Games this year.
12 – National Lottery Funded Athletes - Jenny Meadow Mother’s Story
Inspired by the story of 800 metres runner Jenny Meadows’ mother, our newest TV advert looks at how National Lottery funding helps British athletes achieve their dreams. Extended version. Thanks to TNL players we’re helping over 1,200 British athletes fulfil their dreams at London 2012 and beyond. No-one has contributed more to our athletes than our players.
13 – EDF - Powering The Games
EDF is an official partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, supplying the Olympic Park with low carbon electricity for a sustainable Olympics to remember.
14 – GlaxoSmithKline - Marlon Devonish
Touching on the ugly side of sport, GlaxoSmithKline features English sprinter Marlon Devonish to promote its provision of anti-doping laboratory services at the Games. Created by TBWA London, the advert takes the viewer inside the athlete’s body to experience the tension and exhilaration as he prepares to run the race of a lifetime.
15 – BP - Fuelling The Future
BP is proud to be the Official Oil and Gas Partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as a Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad.
Three-time female boxing champion Laila Ali gets in the ring with her father Muhammad Ali at the height of his own boxing career. Clever postproduction mixes new footage with original Muhammad Ali fights.
“The Long Run” features 7 of today’s top athletes (David Beckham, Tracy McGrady, Laila Ali, Haile Gebrselassie, Ian Thorpe, Zinedine Zidane, Maurice Greene) who join a young Mohammad Ali on one of his famous morning runs in 1974. Ingenious post-production seamlessly merges new footage with original film shot in Zaire.
Skateboarder Stacy Kohut lost the use of his legs after an accident but continues to ‘skateboard’ in his wheelchair.
The current world 100m champion Kim Collins encounters 1936 four time Olympic Gold medal winner Jesse Owens on the track. This ad is part of the “Impossible is Nothing Olympics” Campaign and has especially been made for the Olympics 2004.
The greatest runner of all time, Haile Gebrselassie takes on the seemingly impossible challenge of beating himself. This ad is part of the “Impossible is Nothing Olympics” Campaign and especially has been made for the Olympics 2004.
The 13 year old gymnast Nastia Liukin literally follows in the path of the legendary Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast ever to score a perfect “10″. This ad is part of the “Impossible is Nothing Olympics” Campaign and has especially been made for the Olympics 2004.
Over the years adidas-Salomon AG has maintained an international reputation as a premier maker of sporting goods and athletic footwear. It has hired some of the sporting world’s top athletes as spokespersons for its products, and the company has also owned a sponsorship deal with the New York Yankees. Despite its high profile in the industry, however, the company remained the alsoran athletic footwear company in the United States, behind Nike, Reebok, and New Balance. In addition, in 2003 the company reported that its total sales in the United States had dropped 16 percent in the first nine months of that year. Further confounding adidas, which sponsored the 2004 Olympic Summer Games, was the loss of its sponsorship rights to the 2008 Olympics to its competitor Nike. To gain an edge over the competition and to reenergize its business in the United States, in 2004 adidas-Salomon AG introduced a $50 million brand-marketing campaign—the largest ever undertaken by the company—that included television, print, and Internet ads. Themed ‘‘Impossible Is Nothing,’’ the yearlong global campaign was created for adidas by 180/TBWA, a partnership between 180, an agency based in Amsterdam, and the San Francisco agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. It kicked off with television spots featuring digitally altered footage of boxing legend Muhammad Ali jogging with some of the top athletes of the 1990s and 2000s, such as soccer star David Beckham. Athletes featured in subsequent ads included Ali’s daughter Laila, also a boxer, NBA greats Tracy McGrady and Tim Duncan, and tennis champion Justine Henin-Hardenne. The campaign clearly resonated with consumers and earned praise and official recognition from the advertising industry. After it began, the company reported that U.S. sales were up 11 percent compared with the same period the previous year.
The ‘‘Impossible Is Nothing’’ campaign was driven by adidas’s efforts to shift its marketing focus to reach its target audience, 12- to 24-year-old consumers involved in sports. Based on statistics showing that men between the ages of 18 and 34 spent more time online than watching television, adidas also shifted some of its marketing to the Internet. Tara Moss, Internet business developer for adidas America, explained during an interview with Advertising Age, ‘‘We were trying to reach that teen audience that is dedicated to sports. Their apparel and footwear is really necessary to them in their daily lives.’’
Whether the new campaign would actually appeal to its target audience was questioned by some. In an interview with the Oregonian, Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon, said that adidas needed to make changes in its marketing to be competitive with such companies as Nike and Reebok, who were using highprofile athletes, including NBA stars LeBron James and Yao Ming, respectively, to promote their products. ‘‘The challenge here is whether young teenagers, who are really the hot market for shoes and apparel, resonate with [Muhammad] Ali,’’ he said. ‘‘Many of these kids may never have seen him compete in their lifetime.’’
The adidas ‘‘Impossible Is Nothing’’ campaign, created by 180/TBWA, was designed first to reach American consumers and to improve the company’s market share in the United States. Adidas stressed that the campaign was aimed at a global market and that ads would eventually include athletic stars from a variety of sports and regions. ‘‘Impossible Is Nothing’’ was launched in February 2004 with television, print, and Internet advertising. ‘‘Wallscapes’’—huge ads on the sides of buildings—were installed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, and Portland. The first television spot featured American boxing icon Muhammad Ali as a young man setting off on one of his legendary long runs; the footage was digitally altered to show him running alongside members of a new generation of athletes, including soccer great David Beckham and NBA star Tracy McGrady, all dressed in adidas merchandise. Meanwhile, Ali’s daughter Hannah narrated, ‘‘Some people listen to themselves, rather than listen to what others say . . . they remind us that once you set out on a path, even though critics may doubt you, it’s okay to believe there is no ‘can’t,’ ‘won’t,’ or ‘impossible.’ They remind us it’s okay to believe impossible is nothing.’’ Another TV ad employed digital effects to depict a young Muhammad Ali sparring with his daughter Laila. In a voice-over Laila dismissed the idea that women should not box, saying, ‘‘Impossible isn’t a fact; it’s an opinion.’’
In addition to print ads and TV spots, the campaign, described by the company as a ‘‘fully integrated communication campaign,’’ also included ads and promotions on the adidas website as part of an effort to reach consumers, especially teens, all over the world. For a limited time the ‘‘Laila’’ TV spot was made available on the Yahoo!, MSN, and ESPN home pages. The online aspect of the campaign also featured 20 elite athletes, each telling his or her personal ‘‘Impossible Is Nothing’’ story. Consumers who logged onto the site were encouraged to share their own stories of overcoming the impossible to succeed. The best stories were awarded prizes. Additional television commercials showed past and present Olympic stars interacting with each other. One ad had sprinter Kim Collins on the track encountering the 1936 gold-medal-winner JesseOwens. Another depicted gymnast Nastia Liukin retracing the moves of the legendary Nadia Comaneci, who in 1976 became the first gymnast to complete a perfect-10 Olympic performance. The spot starringHaile Gebrselassie, known as one of the greatest runners of all time, was digitally altered to feature him running a 10,000-meter race in the Long Beach Memorial Stadium against nine competitors: all himself.
As the ‘‘Impossible Is Nothing’’ campaign advanced, it became evident that it was resonating with consumers, and it earned accolades within the marketing arena. The campaign received a Silver EFFIE Award and won a Gold Lion Award at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, and adidas was named the 2004 Marketer of the Year by Footwear News. Ad critics praised the campaign as well. Speaking specifically of the Boxing legend Muhammad Ali ® and daughter, Laila at the unveiling of a billboard featuring their image as part of the launch of Adidas’ campaign ‘‘Impossible is Nothing.’’ ª JEFF CHRISTENSEN/REUTERS/CORBIS. Commercials created for the U.S. market, Barbara Lippert of Adweek said that the campaign had been ‘‘incredibly successful.’’ She continued, ‘‘Those ads really capture the viewer’s imagination. They are beautifully executed and organic, effectively leveraging the brand’s image. Adidas has made a lot of noise. To come that far, that quickly, is just incredible.’’
The Internet component of the campaign was also successful in reaching the target audience. According to Moss, there was a 125 percent increase in the use of the search term ‘‘adidas’’ on the Yahoo! home page the day the ad featuring Ali and Laila appeared online. The highest number of search requests was from young men aged 13 to 17. Despite the campaign’s success, the NPD Group, an international market-research organization, listed adidas as the number four athletic-footwear brand in the United States—behind Nike, Reebok, and New Balance—the same position it had held in 2003. But based on dollar sales adidas made advances in 2004. According to the company, sales in 2004 were 11 percent higher than in 2003, pushing adidas closer to its proposed goal of doubling its 10 percent U.S. market share and closing the gap between itself and the top company, Nike.
Advertising Agency: 180 Amsterdam
Executive Creative Director: Ren Klyce
Creative Director: Peter McHugh/Lee Clow
Copywriter: Richard Bullock
Art Director: Dean Maryon
Production Company: Park Picture, New York
Director: Lance Accord