Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg

NEW YORK — Adidas is still on a personal improvement kick.
The sneaker giant is building on the success of last year’s “Adidas Makes You Better” TV ad campaign by introducing four new commercials outside of North America. Developed by 180, an Amsterdam-based agency, the spots feature elite athletes wearing Adidas Performance Products in lighthearted situations.
Take top-ranked tennis star Martina Hingis, who appears in one commercial as the “Ambassador of Coolness.” Wearing the Adidas Precision Pro polo shirt, a garment with one long sleeve and one short sleeve, Hingis helps clear pedestrian traffic in a busy city square in Rome by hitting tennis balls.
Designed with ClimaLite to help control an athlete’s body temperature, the Precision Pro polo lends itself to the tag line: “Adidas Makes You Cool.” Once Hingis restores calm and leaves the square, the spot closes with a police officer and people in the crowd wearing the Precision Polo.
Another commercial features four-time Olympic medalist Ato Boldon running in Adidas Gazelles up the down escalator in a Prague subway station. Boldon, who is dubbed the “Ambassador of Lightness,” has a spot that closes with “Adidas Makes You Light.”
New Zealand rugby champ Jonah Lomu and rising golf star Sergio Garcia appear in the other two spots, which were shot in Dublin and Barcelona. Those commercials focus on the importance of support and warmth.
The ads will be staggered throughout the year depending on what sports events are under way.
The Hingis commercial, for example, ran in Australia during last month’s Australian Open and will be used again this fall in Munich during the Chase Championships.
The ad campaign, which includes TV, print, outdoor and online advertising, breaks Feb. 12 and will air in 100 markets, according to Neil Simpson, head of global brand concepts and advertising for Adidas. Using an integrated ad campaign helps convey a more consistent image to consumers, he said.
“In the clutter that is today’s media market, it’s useful to be more single handed in your approach,” Simpson said. “You have more of a chance of getting through to consumers if they experience the same image on TV that they see in a consumer magazine.”
“Adidas Makes You Feel Better” will not be shown in the North America, since hoop star Kobe Bryant remains the brand’s focal point for that market, he said.
The company decided to extend the ad campaign into this year, since last year’s version “struck a powerful chord with young people around the world,” Simpson said.
“They clearly understood the performance message and appreciated that it was presented in a humorous and humble way. Unlike other sports brands, Adidas does not preach to its consumers from on high,” he said. “Our aim is to be on their level, on the street and on their bodies and feet.”

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