Adidas Gets Its Kicks From Brits

NEW YORK Two U.K. star athletes teach each other about their respective sports in a new campaign by 180 for Adidas breaking on Friday.

Soccer star David Beckham and rugby player Jonny Wilkinson, both of whom wear Adidas Predator soccer shoes, star in the campaign, which consists of a 90-second cinema spot and three 30-seconds commercials. In one ad, Wilkinson teaches Beckham how to make a rugby penalty kick. In another, Beckham shows Wilkinson how to “bend” a soccer ball when taking a corner kick. In the third spot, the two men try to keep a rugby ball in the air, without touching the ground, in a game known as “keepy-ups.” The 90-second spot incorporates footage from the other three ads. The tagline remains, “Forever sport.”

The ads, by 180 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, were shot without scripts; the athletes were briefed on the scenarios and then shot at soccer team Manchester United’s training field in Northern England. Chris Palmer of Gorgeous in London directed.

“We only had two hours of Beckham’s time,” said executive creative director Peter McHugh. “We supplied them the concept and let them take it from there.”

Originally scheduled to run in the U.K. only, the ads have been picked up by a number of Asian countries, where Beckham is popular.

Richard Bullock served as copywriter and Andy Fackrell provided art direction for the effort.