Just like every other sports brand, Nike and adidas have both invested an insane amount of money on activity around the Olympics. It’s really interesting to look at their varying approaches though and see what is actually connecting with consumers and who is making the best use of their budget.
Adidas have invested an obscene amount of money in becoming the official sportswear brand of the Olympics. They’ve got tons of celebrity ambassadors, from David Beckham through to Andy Murray. Their whole campaign revolves around British athletes “taking the stage” and showing the world what they’re capable of. The athletes are placed on a pedestal for consumers to admire and respect.
Nike however, have taken a very different approach. Rather than becoming an official partner or sponsoring a ton of top tier athletes, Nike have focused on helping individuals “find their greatness”. It’s not about who the best person in the world is, it’s about how you can use athletes to inspire small changes in your own life. It acknowledges the achievements of the world’s most athletic competitors and challenges the consumer to make small changes to find their own greatness. Their latest ad is one of the best examples of this, as it shows an overweight 12 year old from London, Ohio training to get fit.
The two campaigns have very contrasted approaches, and I think Nike’s work is a great example of how to take a big event like the Olympics and allow consumers to connect to it. When people see Nike’s work they think “Wow, I could do that”, but when they see adidas’ work they think “Wow, that guy is on a completely different level to me”. It’s an interesting case study to show how important it is to use ambassadors appropriately and make sure our campaigns actually connect with consumers in the world they operate in rather than ethereal brand land.
And to back it up with a bit of science:
– 7.7% of all Olympic conversations online are associated with Nike, as opposed to 0.49% with adidas
– Nike have hit #1 on the viral chart with 4.5 million views compared to adidas’ 2.9 million views
– Nike benefited from the FIFA World Cup more than any other brand despite not being an official sponsor of the event
– Average daily mentions between February and the end of May for these terms were 1073 for Nike and 308 for Adidas.
What is your opinion of the two campaigns? Which one resonates strongest with you? Let us know in the comments!