5 Mar 2018SpottedAdidas’ Watch Me Create ad humanises footballing heroesSPOTTED: The insight behind the ads

For Adidas Football’s latest advertising campaign, the sportswear giant asked football stars Luis Suarez, Paul Pogba, and Lionel Messi to 'direct' their own films. This creative twist caters to a growing desire among fans for a view into the lives of their sporting heroes. We discover the insights behind the ads and look at how humanising celebrities builds a sense of authenticity.

Ben Whitman

The Adidas 'Watch Me Create' campaign was designed to showcase the brand’s Cold Blooded SS18 football boots, tapping up three of football’s biggest names to create and direct their own launch videos. Each player’s spot reflects their creative personalities and how they cross-over from the football pitch into everyday life, and the video introducing the campaign has been viewed over six million times on YouTube.

Watch Me Create was dreamed up by Iris London, and plays into the agency’s wider work for Adidas with the 2017 Here to Create campaign. “Using illustration as footballing creativity’s visual expression, we developed a campaign to demonstrate the stark contrast between boring, uneventful football and the vibrancy and joy that creativity sparks,” reads Iris’ website on the campaign.

Adidas helps fans see the human side of their favourite footballers

Beyond Adidas’ campaign, football clubs are helping fans feel closer by creating their own content for internal and external media platforms. Manchester City, for example, has produced a behind-the-scenes documentary for Amazon, which will air in March 2018, while in 2017, it launched Cityzens – a platform that fosters a digital community and delivers fans their own experience of the team and players.

Sports marketing is increasingly catering to fans’ insatiable desire for athlete insight, with people demanding greater access to the lives of their sporting heroes. Social media has facilitated this, allowing people to develop 'parasocial relationships' with athletes, in which they feel emotionally closer to their sporting 'friend', while shareable videos like Watch Me Create afford fans a glimpse into their favourite sport that extends past the game itself. And with 85% of 13- to 25-year-olds using YouTube to watch sport, Adidas is making itself readily accessible via a platform that's already well-used and well-loved.

Ben Whitman is an intern at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. He has a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Bristol. When not wetting his feet in the wonderful world of insights, he can be found walking his dogs or playing Lacrosse.