Johannes Leonardo Goes Dystopian for Adidas

By Erik Oster 

Last March Johannes Leonardo launched a campaign for Adidas Originals featuring Pharrell, telling viewers “Don’t decide your style based on my style…or anyone else’s.” Now, the agency is continuing the message while partnering with four young brand influencers: Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert, model/lifestyle blogger Aleali May, singer/DJ Kyu Steed and artist Design Butler.

In “Your Future is Not Mine,” directed by Terence Neale, the group walks through a dystopian scene featuring lifeless forests, gas masks, burning trash cans, and masked gangs. At the conclusion of the ad they finally arrive at their destination, walking toward a brighter future (and the actual word “future” appears onscreen). Notably, while there’s hints of a narrative from what happens in the periphery, the four stars don’t actually do anything except walk, which is both strange and appropriate for an Adidas ad, but also not exactly engaging. The message is exemplified by a line sung by Daisy Hamel-Buffa in the music the spot is set to, ” “I’m never gonna fall in line. Your future is not mine.”

“It’s an edgy and authentic way of showing them marching to that vanishing point, which is representing the future. We’re asking consumers to focus and create their own future, and not look back,” Brandon Beaty, director of brand communications for Originals explained to Adweek.

“Every piece of entertainment and news story out there is depicting a future with no hope. This is what our idea pushes against,” added Johannes Leonardo founder and creative director Ferdinando Verderi.