When I was growing up, soccer was my sport of choice despite the fact I lived in the very football crazy town of Canton, Ohio (home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame). I started playing when I was six years old and since that time, Adidas has been one of my favorite brands. In the early years, the brand served as a statement for us soccer players because Adidas was a soccer brand. It was a way to show the world (or at that time, the school) who we were and what we were about. In that sense, I loved my Adidas Samba shoes and today I’m probably on my 15th pair of them. Adidas has, and always will be, a lovemark for me.
That lovemark status helps drive my infatuation with their “Impossible Is Nothing” campaign. In fact, I have a picture of the campaign hanging behind my desk at work to serve as everyday inspiration. What I find interesting is the contrast behind Nike and Adidas. Both are extremely successful companies and both have amazing marketing (possibly two of the best in the world). But why is Nike just a brand I respect while Adidas is a brand I love? Well in my eyes it all comes down to positioning.
Nike is inspiration for the field, while Adidas is inpsiration for every day life: When I think about my favorite Nike advertising, plenty of greats spots come to mind ranging from There Are No Cinderellas to Jaffe’s Tiger Did It to Jordan’s XXI. They are amazing inspiration about performing on the field and what it takes to make it. In fact, they are some of the greatest advertising every created. Adidas on the other hand uses sports to show inspiration in everywhere. In the Beckahm ad they write:
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration, it’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
This is true inspiration for conquering the so-called “impossible” in every day life. There is no brand in the world that does a better job of inspiring athletes than Nike. No question about it. Adidas recognizes that and inspires the rest of the world in their every day life.
Adidas somehow balances the line of fashion and sports: I’ve always been intrigued that Adidas can be a stellar athletic company, but then at the same time, they have their Adidas Originals and Adicolor in the fashion world. I love that blend that company creates of playing in both worlds and it speaks to me as a person. I never want to be seen as one dimensional and Adidas recognizes that. Nike can be for those guys that just want to be seen as athletes or sports guys. I’ll stick with Adidas where the brand means you have more than just one layer to yourself.
Adidas truly is a lovemark for me. They are a brand that wears many hats, but does it well. In many ways, they are also the underdog because they are never the “one to beat” in the industry. I think that is part of the inspiration for me. I like cheering for David to beat Goliath.