Adidas Unfair Advantage: We’re keen to stick boot in

DavidBeckhamAnd so, dear readers, to football. To many it is the beautiful game; the mastery of Messi, the craft of Cruyff, the pomp of Pele, and the, er, handiness of Ron “Chopper” Harris. To others, it is simply loads of overpaid pampered boneheads running around after an inflated pig’s bladder.

If you fall into the latter camp, you might want to look away now as this week we are delving into Adidas Football’s new long-form content series that celebrates the resilience of global football stars to inspire the next generation of athletes. Yes, really.

Created by We Are Social Sport, with production from We Are Social Studios, the four-part Unfair Advantage video series promotes the recent release of the Adidas Predator 20 football boot.

According to the blurb, the campaign will feature some of Adidas Football’s biggest stars within the men’s and women’s games, as they take part in hard-hitting interviews, exploring the darkest and most challenging moments in their careers and lives and how they responded to adversity. Yeah, yeah, it’s only sport but…

During each interview, the players share how these challenges – and the process of overcoming them – has made them stronger and more resilient as athletes and helped to shape them into the people they are today.

This comes from the insight that Adidas Football YouTube subscribers are sick of seeing the same training drills. They want to be inspired and learn how the biggest football stars find the mental strength to turn an obstacle into their unfair advantage.

First up is – drum roll – David Beckham, now appearing on Adidas Football’s YouTube and IGTV channels. So, you may ask, what golden nuggets can “golden balls” impart? How someone who never tackled and barely broke into a sweat overcame it all to be one of the biggest “brands” in the world? Of course not.

The blurb rules that out: “In this poignant video, Beckham focuses on the events following the infamous Argentina game of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, which saw England knocked out of the competition and Beckham demonised by the UK press. This soul-searching Unfair Advantage interview sees Beckham open up about his devastating red card in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and how it motivated him to get his head down, work even harder, and become England’s most successful footballing export ever.”

Over the next few weeks, Adidas Football will release the remaining three videos, although it has not yet detailed who will be taking part.

Even so, Adidas Football global brand marketing manager Fabian Staudinger is, understandably, keen to get the boot it, so to speak. He said: “The Predator boot has been described as giving its wearer an ‘unfair’ advantage, due to its ground-breaking ‘demonskin’ technology and design. The Unfair Advantage series connects the product to an authentic moment, resulting in a powerful and inspirational brand story. It is a bold and poignant piece of storytelling that we hope will inspire the next generation of athletes.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? Are we football crazy or football mad? Will we be rushing out to buy a pair of Predator 20 boots to turn the Decision Marketing XI from Bolton Wanderers strugglers into Real Madrid champions? More importantly, will Beckham’s story inspire us to find the mental strength to turn an obstacle into our unfair advantage?

Sadly, we’re unlikely to do any of these things because of this film. Let’s be fair, Beckham cocked up in the first Argentina game and got lucky in the second. Whether that was anything to do with Adidas is another matter.

And those looking for deep insight could be disappointed, too. Our David’s advice? Why, “get your head down and work hard”, of course. Funnily enough, that’s what Sir Alex Ferguson wanted him to do but he was too busy building “Brand Beckham”.

Mind you, in a nod to Victoria Caroline Beckham OBE, he does love the “colourway” of the new boots and wishes he was still playing so he could wear them on the pitch. Bless.

Then again, loads of overpaid pampered boneheads running around after an inflated pig’s bladder will no doubt love this stuff…

Decision Marketing Adometer: An uninspiring 5 out of ten

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