Leagas Delaney has unveiled a nostalgic global campaign for the
sportswear giant, Adidas, in the run-up to this summer’s Olympic Games
The campaign seeks to underline Adidas’s Olympic heritage, as the
company has a long connection with the games, having equipped sporting
legends such as Emil Zatopek, Nadia Comaneci and Daley Thompson.
Shot on location in Los Angeles, Cuba and Germany, the campaign includes
one 60-second launch commercial and four 40-second spots.
All the films, which are narrated by the actor, John Hurt, use the
endline ‘We knew then, we know now’, and were directed by the Douglas
Brothers through D Films.
The first film in the campaign, dubbed ‘the past’, recreates moments of
atheletic achievement in past Olympics, such as Bob Beamon’s historic
long jump and Jesse Owens’ triumph in the 1936 games in Berlin, when he
scooped four gold medals.
The ad depicts the journey made by Adidas - from 1920 in Germany to 1996
in Atlanta - through the eyes of its founder, Adi Dassler, and aims to
show that the spirit of Dassler will still be present this year in
The commercial was written and art directed by Tim Delaney, Leagas
Delaney’s creative director.
In the second spot, the modern Cuban sprinter, Ana Quirot, tells the
inspiring story of the handicapped American sprinter, Rudolph, who won
three gold medals in the 1960 games in Rome, having overcome a serious
childhood illness that forced her to wear steel braces and orthopaedic
Subsequent 40-second commercials introduce today’s sporting stars
alongside their Olympic heroes. For example, in one we see Donovan
Bailey, the 100-metres sprinter, preparing for Atlanta with Owens’
achievement and technical approach foremost in his mind.
The commercial mixes re-created footage of Owens, who we see observing
the movement of thoroughbred horses in full stride under the eye of the
coach, Charles Riley, with shots of Bailey applying Owens’ running
technique, which revolutionised sprinting.
The commercial ends with Bailey eulogising: ‘The spirit of Jesse Owens
will be running in Donovan Bailey’s shoes in Atlanta.’
The campaign will run on worldwide television and cinema, breaking in
the UK next week.
Robert Louis Dreyfus, the Adidas president, said: ‘This advertising
demonstrates Adidas’s pre-eminence as the sports brand of choice for the
very best athletes in the world, past, present and future.’