Nov 17, 2022

The Story Behind adidas’ FIFA World Cup 2022™ Marketing Campaign

Find out how adidas’ latest marketing campaign came to life and hear why Lucio Dalla Gasperina believes it was the most collaborative in his career to date.
by Lucio Dalla Gasperinastaff

I’ve worked for this amazing brand for over 18 years. During my time with adidas I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the most talented and passionate people in our industry, across Originals, Basketball, Running and most recently Football. Currently I am working as Global Director for Brand Communications for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ brand marketing campaign.

I knew this campaign would be a challenge, but at the same time I knew it would be one to remember for a lifetime.

Challenge accepted

Never before have I worked on a marketing campaign quite like this. First, you have a campaign that is meant to elevate our brand. Second, you add football – the sport that adidas is arguably best known for. Third, you sprinkle in a little thing called the FIFA World Cup 2022™ – the single largest sporting event in the world.

While everyone can see a brand campaign come to life, not everyone knows the process that goes into the creation and production. A global brand marketing campaign is typically briefed in 11 months prior to the launch date. In the specific example of the World Cup, it was crucial that we not only had a brief that spelled out the needs of our brand, but also the needs from a football perspective.

"A global brand marketing campaign is typically briefed in 11 months prior to the launch date."

Lucio Dalla GasperinaDirector Global Brand Communications

To create a campaign that emotionally connects with all people, and that is told through the lens of football, we teamed up with our Football Business Unit – a partnership that brought the best of both worlds together: brand communications and footballing expertise.

Football icon and the G.O.A.T. himself, Argentinian international Lionel Messi.
Starting for England at the FIFA World Cup 2022™, Jude Bellingham.
Ballon d'Or winner and French international, Karim Benyema.
Bayern Munich star and player of the German national team, Serge Gnabry.
Moroccan international, Achraf Hakimi.
adidas athlete and superstar of the South Korean national team, Son Heung-Min.
Pedro González López, better known as 'Pedri', playing for the Spanish federation.

Shaping a message of positivity

While we expected this project to be complex, none of us anticipated having to deal with some of the challenges that caused us to shift gears, and change direction multiple times: Partners getting injured, geopolitical tensions turning the world upside down, and the coronavirus being just some of the uncontrollable factors we needed to consider when building creative content that speaks to the world.

The insight that we latched onto was that all of these external pressures had sucked the fun out of football. So, our new north star was to celebrate the pure fun in football in the only way that adidas can: through the lens of Impossible is Nothing. While the team was re-energized with excitement around the new campaign direction, time was not on our side. Where we were supposed to have six months to shoot and produce a full campaign toolkit, in the end we only had three.

We had just two weeks to plan nine different shoots around the world.

Two weeks to lock in and brief six top footballers (including the G.O.A.T, Lionel Messi).

"Our new north star was to celebrate the pure fun in football in the only way that adidas can: through the lens of Impossible is Nothing."

LUCIO DALLA GASPERINADIRECTOR GLOBAL BRAND COMMUNICATIONS

Two weeks to find a cultural talent to narrate the story.

By the time we shot our last partner it was the last week of September, giving us exactly four weeks to put the creative content together to deliver a full global marketing campaign.

The campaign

To celebrate the fun in football, we developed a campaign that brings the adidas family together for the world’s most impossible reunion. Our ‘Family Reunion’ concept shows our top partners all getting ready to come back together, including a scenario where one of the greatest football superstars of our time reunites with their younger selves. This content is meant to be fun, bringing together the adidas family.

This content will also feature fun cameos with other members of the adidas family, so stay close to the adidas Football social channels throughout the tournament to see the fun unfold.

The team behind the campaign at the scene of one of several photoshoots.
Behind the scenes.
Scoping out the set.

The collaboration

This has been the most collaborative effort in my many years of working with this company. No egos, no titles, no agendas, just pure passion for the project and a drive to complete this campaign to go live on time.

To the football comms and player activation team, the production team, the sports marketing team, the digital and newsroom teams, the markets, the legal team, the music team, the cultural marketing team, finance, procurement, ops, our agencies and planning… And last but not least, the brand comms team. We can’t wait to see how the content unfolds over the next few weeks.

It is projects like this that show the true power of our brand. When we come together, we can achieve anything. Thank you!

In what should have been three months, the teams above helped create and deliver over 376 files in time to launch this campaign for the World Cup in less than 30 days. It goes to show what people can do when they come together and collaborate. As we’ve always said, Impossible is Nothing.

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