Adidas Salutes Teamwork in Star-Powered Ad by Johannes Leonardo

Striving toward shared greatness

In this short film, skateboarder Jenn Soto feels right at home on her first day as a member of Team Adidas, joining brand influencers such as Pharrell Williams, rapper Jackson Wang, filmmaker Jonah Hill and K-pop sensations Blackpink.

Hill directed and provides narration over a loudspeaker. "We can all do amazing things on our own," he says, as Soto hurries past athletes, recording artists, gamers and creators, "but together, we can do so much more."

adidas Originals | Superstar | Change Is a Team Sport

Crafted by Johannes Leonardo, the minute-long commercial, which broke during Sunday night's Grammy Awards, introduces the line, "Change is a team sport." It celebrates the cultural impact of Adidas' signature Superstar sneaker that dropped 50 years ago, and uses that firm footing to propel the kicks into the future. 

Actually, this particular spot feels a tad Orwellian, with everyone clad in dark Adidas gear and hanging on the words of a disembodied voice, like some brand-building battalion preparing to spring into action. (And you know, from a marketing perspective, that's exactly what's going on.) 

Still, collective effort can spur groups and individuals to greatness across sports, the arts and technology. Teams of all sorts—from soccer squads and fashion houses to game development firms and bands—help create and nurture superstars who, in turn, take their organizations to the next level. All for one, etc.

So, "Change Is a Team Sport" feels like a valid, ownable position for Adidas, one the athletic footwear and apparel giant can evolve in all sorts of intriguing and worthwhile directions. 

"There's no knowledge without the older generation who did it first," Hill explains in an Adidas post about the campaign. "And there's no change or progression without the new generation. So if those two generations come together, I feel like that creates the right atomic charge for great art and great creativity."

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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