Rick and Morty Collab With Adidas to Introduce X Speedportal Soccer Boots
Adidas' animated tie-in with Adult Swim's Rick and Morty begins late one night, as the former bursts into the latter's bedroom with an important announcement.
RICK: Morty! Morty! Wake up! You're gonna be a football star, Morty!
RICK: The sport you play with your foot and a ball outside. Football!
MORTY: You mean soccer?
RICK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. Depending on where this ad is airing.
Rapid-fire humor abounds in the ensuing 90-second adventure touting Adidas' X Speedportal boots.
Morty dons the kicks and climbs through a multidimensional portal to compete in the International Unlicensed Cup on Earth, with cartoon versions of Vivianne Miedema and Mohamed Salah joining him on the fantastical pitch:
Hey, it's no Super Bowl—where Rick and Morty starred for Pringles in 2020—but it's still a sport you play with your foot and a ball!
In the Adidas spot, jokes about the power of "consensual science," raw herring and the shoe having "an extensive list of marketing terms" are pure gooooooooooold! So is Rick's explanation for the whole enterprise: "Why does anyone do anything? For free sandwiches in the press area, Morty!"
"It's one of these campaigns where you throw something at the wall early on, thinking it is going to get a few laughs and fall off, but it sticks," recalls copywriter Toby Castle-Smith of Amsterdam-based TBWA\Neboko, which developed the project.
Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema will also appear in the push, which includes additional animation plus live action and 3D elements. In all instances, the portal—a familiar tenet of the Rick and Morty experience, and tweaked for Adidas by Post Panic—plays a pivotal role:
"Rick and Morty is a global phenomenon, very popular among Gen Z. As a global brand, we look for stories that can resonate among our consumers all around the world, and this definitely ticks the box," Jara Velilla, senior global brand communications manager for football at Adidas, tells Muse. "It felt like a natural fit for the product, too. With the modern game getting quicker and quicker, it became clear that we had to take things to a whole new dimension."
"As big fans of cinematic universes, no detail was too small when it came to connecting the dots," adds TBWA\Neboko art director Jeremy Pedro. "Every piece of content serves its own purpose, but when combined tells a much bigger story, from start to finish."
The full X Speedportal film breaks this week in theaters and on TV worldwide, with edits running across digital and social.
"We were looking to speak our consumer's language, to be fun and bold but to still be able to communicate our product benefits in a premium way, whilst representing our biggest athletes as the heroes," Velilla says. "This film does it all. It shows that at Adidas, we're willing to do things differently."
Matt Davidson – Head of Global Brand Marketing Football
Gonzalo Calvo – Global Director Brand Communication, Communities & Culture
Jara Velilla – Senior Global Brand Communications Manager Football
Nikolai Ehrentraut – Manager Brand Communication Football
Penny Pijnenburg – Senior Media Producer
James Pinnington – Senior Producer
Greta Bridekirk – Creative Shoot Producer
Creative Agency: TBWA\NEBOKO
Rick and Morty Film Production: Adult Swim
Player films Directors: Adeus
Player films Production company: TBWA\NEBOKO
Line production company: 24/7 sports, Sugar Free TV & AprilMay London
VFX: Post Panic
Photographer (Messi & Salah): Carles Carabí
Photographer (Miedema): Olly Burn
Post production key visuals: Loupe&co
Sound studio: Audentity
Grading and Online: De Grot
Media agency: MediaCom
Retail agency: Attitude