Field Work at Adidas

Leagas Delaney is set to unveil a global print campaign for Adidas’ growing line of outdoor footwear, including high-tech hiking boots.
Three magazine spreads use the format of outdoor field guides with the brand logo and no tagline. One ad shows and describes several types of minerals and rocks and includes the Adidas Badrock waterproof hiking boot. Another features 11 types of fish as well as the Posydon river rafting sandal.
The client will present the work in Germany next week at its annual international sales meeting. Expected to run in Europe, Asia, Latin America and eventually the U.S., the marketing effort is Adidas’ largest yet for shoes and sandals aimed at wilderness enthusiasts, said sources.
The ads break new ground by using illustrations of the footwear rather than photographs. Also, the product images do not dominate the work, but almost blend in with the other illustrations.
“The client was concerned that an illustration would not be able to show the state-of-the-art features,” noted art director Steve Mapp. But Barbara Ambler’s drawings emphasize the details at least as well as a photo could, he said.
Research led the San Francisco agency to traditional guides hikers and fishermen use. The extensive technical descriptions were easily imitated to describe the footwear.
“Magazine layouts and print ads in the outdoor adventure category all tend to blend together, so we decided we needed a different concept,” said copywriter Matt Rivitz. K