Beckham, Del Piero and Raul in Adidas' World Cup ad drive

Adidas has revealed its star-studded advertising assault as it prepares to see off Nike for ownership of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Adidas, a World Cup sponsor, is using humour to stand out from the event's marketing clutter, unlike arch-rival Nike which has adopted a more serious approach.

Neil Simpson, Adidas' head of global brand concepts and advertising, said: "We are driving Adidas as a down-to-earth and natural brand."

Football stars including David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raul and Alessandro Del Piero star in the campaign, which was created by 180 and directed by Traktor.

The campaign, distributed globally through TBWA, sees the sport stars attempting to treat their football obsession at "The Institute for the Study of Footballitis". A series of 60-, 30-, 15- and five-second spots show concerned scientists investigating the disease.

It was written by Luca Grelli and art directed by Dean Maryon. It was directed through Partizan Midi Minuit. Global media is by Carat.

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