This spot features NBA superstar Kevin Garnett in several different fantasy scenarios. First he is a Starship-troopers type Marine, leading a battle charge. Then he is Batman, using a gadget to save a falling woman. Then he is a boy on a playground. Then he is a gladiator in the arena. Next he is a stand-up comedian. Finally he is Kevin Garnett on a basketball court. The spot ends with a shot of an Adidas Basketball shoe and the tagline “Impossible is Nothing.”
This is a slick, effects-heavy, fast-moving spot. Fans of Garnett will no doubt be drawn to this spot by his omnipresent face and physique which are featured in nearly every frame of the spot. The pacing of this spot is brisk and the soundtrack lends a storybook feel to the action.
Adidas and Nike seem to be competing to see which sneaker giant can spend money faster and with the least effect. After the absurd Nike spots featuring LeBron James in four different roles of a sitcom (see our review here), this advertising blog thought the bottom might have been reached in this category. But a close examination of this spot shows that it can, in fact get worse – at least from the marketer’s perspective. Shall we count the ways?
- Branding – We don’t see the shoes until the last 10 seconds of the spot and barely get a glance before it is done. This spot is a departure for Adidas, so there is no defense in claiming that it will be instantly identifiable as Adidas advertising.
- Ownability – Nothing in this spot belongs to Adidas. Not the tone, not the claims, not the substance. Even the basketball shoe looks generic.
- Brand Positioning – It is not at all clear how this spot is intended to position Adidas. Garnett’s position is clear – he is everything the mind can imagine. But Adidas does not come along for the ride.
- Selling Proposition – What is Adidas telling us that we’re buying when we get a pair of basketball sneakers? A fantasy, no doubt but what fantasy? To be a stand-up comedian, a warrior or a great player? This spot doesn’t choose.
- The Great Ego Ride – Ultimately this spot is a huge ego trip. We are not suggesting it is a trip of Mr. Garnett’s devising. But he has been sent on the trip and now he owns it.
Shoe advertising has gotten so far from shoes that they seem to be no more than an afterthought here. We believe that image is important in fashion. But we are not at all clear what image we should have here. Adidas is building Kevin Garnett’s brand, but not its own.
Branding Bottom Line:
Garnett should thank Adidas for the multi-million dollar love letter.