Cheil, Adidas “#FanTheFire” for Athletes in India

By Erik Oster 

India’s dominance in the British sport of cricket is well known.

But athletes in India kick ass in all sorts of other sports as well, including many that have yet to become mainstream in the country. Adidas turned to Cheil to help address this and inspire the next generation of athletes in India to pursue athletic endeavors in a variety of sports.

The anthem ad opening the campaign hinges around voiceover in the form of a letter from a mother to a son half a world away. “My day has just ended…but yours has just begun” she writes, going on to implore him to “go and sweat before the sun can see” and reassuring him, “you have it in you, the spark that could ignite a thousand dreams.”

It’s a familiar carpe diem message for athletes, but having it delivered from a mother to her son as he pursues his athletic dreams far from home adds considerable emotional weight. The athlete in question, by the way, is 18-year-old figure skater Nischay Luthra, already a 9-time national gold medalist. (The narrator is his mother.)

Luthra is currently training to represent India at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. As his mother puts it, “this dream is not yours alone, but ours.”

The spot concludes by asking viewers to show him that his mom isn’t his only fan and to spread Luthra’s story and “#FanTheFire.”

“At adidas we truly believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives. With #FanTheFire, we seek to shine a spotlight on athletes and sports which are not mainstream, and in turn, inspire the next generation to take up such sports,” Adidas India senior marketing director Sean van Wyk explained.” We are committed to providing the fuel for Nishchay Luthra and many more like him.”

“In India, cricket enjoys a disproportionately high amount of attention and the rest of the sports are simply out of sight, out of mind. This was gnawing away at us, as we discovered a series of stories about Indian athletes living in obscurity and even penury,” added Cheil Worldwide India group creative director Vijay Simha. “#FanTheFire was born out of our instinctive urge to help the underdog. adidas has always been about the athlete, no matter what sport. So they saw the honesty of purpose, and agreed to leverage the social media power of their assets to lift Nishchay out of relative obscurity. I feel Nishchay’s story is just a spark, that will soon be a fire, fanned by every Indian who cares!”
Brand: adidas India
Creative Agency: Cheil Worldwide SW Asia
Creative Team: Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar, Vijay Simha Vellanki & Vinod Sivan Nishith Sidana
Digital Team: Sanjeev Jasani, Dibyendu Mishra, Arif Khan, Karan Lugani
Production: Gobsmack Entertainment
Director: Shivaji Sen
Producers: Mohit Rastogi & Shyam Madiraju