Adidas Digital Interactions
Adidas has a strong digital media presence with 90% of its annual marketing budget going towards digital campaigns and social media. Adidas CEO, Kasper Rorsted, stated in 2017 that all the company's engagement with the consumer is through digital media. Adidas clearly markets football and soccer to men aged between 18-34 using a consistent style of writing, design, and interaction with its consumers, across all digital media platforms.
- Adidas has a dedicated YouTube channel for football which currently has 1.44 million subscribers.
- On opening the channel a promotional video for the recently re-launched predator boot automatically starts playing. The video is created in the style of a football game. This immediately appeals to football fans, many of whom are men aged 18-34. The players in the video are young men and the style it is shot in is dynamic and fast-moving.
- The channel includes videos promoting new products, interviews with famous footballers, videos highlighting the Tango Squad community and app, and playlists with exclusive content.
- Within the community tab on the channel, consumers have the opportunity to interact with the company by commenting on and liking posts. Almost all posts made by the channel have received over 600 likes and multiple comments, with many posts receiving much higher levels of interaction. Here, Adidas posts GIFs and images that relate less to their products and more to the sport generally, often commenting on matches and players and asking for consumer opinions.
- The number of views a video receives on the channel varies depending on the content. Videos featuring star players receive thousands of views, whereas videos promoting key campaigns and products receive millions of views. This is in part due to the promotion of these videos on other channels as well as Adidas' use of dark social.
- Adidas has an official Facebook page dedicated to football, however, it is significantly out-of-date. The latest posts on the page are from 2018.
- Adidas also has an official Facebook page for the company as a whole, however, this is also out-of-date. The latest post is dated March 2018, and the post before that is dated October 2017.
- Statistics show that the largest demographic currently using Facebook is between 18-49 years old. However, research shows that less and less young people are using Facebook, suggesting that the future of digital marketing to the younger generation will focus on alternative social media platforms like Instagram.
- The style of past posts on Adidas' Facebook pages is consistent with that of their Instagram and website. The posts predominately feature men and use colors and graphics that are directed more towards a male aesthetic.
- Adidas has a dedicated Instagram account for football and soccer. The account features promotional photography, video clips, stories from professional footballers and offers on products. The account currently has 31.8 million followers.
- Many of the posts feature red and blue, two colors that have been shown to appeal to men more than women.
- Over the last 24 months, 234 posts out of a total of 312 feature men between the ages of 18-34.
- A brief review of user posts where Adidas Football has been tagged suggests that the majority of posts are made by men aged between 18-34.
- The home page on the Adidas website features two men aged between 18-34 posing with a woman, all wearing football kit.
- The page dedicated to football uses black, white and gold with sharp lines and contrasting images. The featured images are of men aged 18-34 wearing football kit and sporting active and athletic poses.
- Of the 48 product listings under the 'shop all football' heading when no filters are applied, 1 listing is for women's clothing, 7 are for children and youth, 4 listings are for non-gender-specific items and 36 listings are for men's clothing and boots.
- Of all the products listed on the football section of the website, 112 are for men, 17 are for women and 8 are for children or youth.
- On the web page for soccer, the trend continues, with images of young men and a dynamic, visually contrasting style using sharp angled lines creating a masculine aesthetic. Colors used include yellows, golds, black and white, which are all colors that appeal to men more than they appeal to women.
- Tango Squads is Adidas' community platform. It uses Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp to interact with young football players.
- Tango Squad FC and the Tango App gives people the opportunity to interact with friends, show off skills and compete to unlock rewards.
- With dedicated community apps said to improve brand sales by up to 5%, the Tango Squad app turns followers into brand ambassadors.
- By utilizing a football fan's competitiveness and eagerness to prove themselves among their peers, Adidas has created an app that not only engages their audience but turns that competitiveness into sales. They have done this by linking success in the app to special offers and deals on Adidas products.
There Will Be Haters Campaigns
- The 'There Will Be Haters' campaign was clearly marketed to men aged between 18-34. This is evident throughout the bold marketing material.
- The promotional video, which was shared via social media and YouTube, is fast-paced and features dynamic music and a voice-over by a young male with a South East London accent. The voice-over script is clearly directed towards young men with lines including, 'they hate that you score all the goals...and get all the girls'.
- The video directs consumers to the company's social media campaign with the use of a hashtag and a button calling people to subscribe.
- The promotional photography for the campaign features doodle type illustrations and pop art-inspired graphics.
Predator Boots Campaign
- The 'Predator' campaign, used to re-launch the company's iconic predator football boot in 2019, featured David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, two of the world's most celebrated footballers and arguably idols for many young men.
- The promotional photography and graphic design features black and red as the two dominant colors and has a very masculine aesthetic.
- The campaign utilized digital media by sharing content across social media channels as well as on YouTube and the company website. Content included Facebook Live and Facebook 360 images, Instagram Stories, Snapchat Filters, and Lenses.
- Adidas used the promoted video options available on Twitter to reach its target demographic directly. They placed in-stream ads on sport-related content, linked to their website using the Video Website Card and utilized the First View format on the launch day to raise awareness of the campaign.
- Research shows that in 2019 73% of millennials use their phones to shop online, therefore, all content created for the Adidas campaign was adapted to be viewed on different devices, including mobile phones.
We used the company website, social media platforms and industry reports to evaluate and understand Adidas' digital marketing strategy. We then focused specifically on their football and soccer marketing material. Through reviewing social media posts and interactions, industry analysis, company strategy reports, and marketing content, we were able to gain insights on the impact of the company's digital media strategy, and evaluate how the company uses this to market football and soccer to men aged between 18-34.