adidas: Base Brixton

2015 | London

We knew our teenage London audience were best influenced when feeling totally understood and embraced by the brands they follow. 

With an existing and authentic voice in global football, we needed to bring adidas far closer to the people on the streets of London. We had to go to the heart of their territory and prove we knew exactly what they wanted from a football brand: to get their hands on the latest products, and the chance to get up close to their idols.

Base Brixton was conceived to deliver against both these desires, while simultaneously showing that adidas was 100% in-tune with its fans. This campaign was crafted to inspire and enable London’s most passionate communities, to prove that no brand knows the city or the category better than adidas.

In doing so, adidas would become the ultimate source of entertainment and opportunity during the summer break.

UK

BACKGROUND
Our challenge was simple but serious – adidas had lost their lead in the UK Football market to Nike – the client tasked us with winning it back by delivering next-level impact in London.

Alongside Nike’s continual innovation and heavy-weight budgets, adidas also faced frequent challenges from new kids on the block Under Armour and New Balance. To galvanise the fight-back, adidas archived all pre-existing football boots and boldly condensed a new range into just two product silos:  ‘X’ to Cause Chaos and ‘Ace’ to Control Everything.

We had to land X and Ace with a campaign as brave and significant as the business decisions behind them – a class of marketing our audience and key retail partners had never seen before, leaving them desperate to buy adidas first.  

BIG IDEA
We knew our teenage London audience were best influenced when feeling totally understood and embraced by the brands they follow. 

With an existing and authentic voice in global football, we needed to bring adidas far closer to the people on the streets of London. We had to go to the heart of their territory and prove we knew exactly what they wanted from a football brand: to get their hands on the latest products, and the chance to get up close to their idols.

Base Brixton was conceived to deliver against both these desires, while simultaneously showing that adidas was 100% in-tune with its fans. This campaign was crafted to inspire and enable London’s most passionate communities, to prove that no brand knows the city or the category better than adidas.

In doing so, adidas would become the ultimate source of entertainment and opportunity during the summer break.

THE STRATEGY
In such a fiercely contested category we needed a simple but irresistible hook.

We took the two most compelling themes behind the new products – Chaos (X) and Control (Ace) – and asked our audience to choose between them.

Are you a Chaos Maker or Control Taker?

This question became the catalyst for the entire campaign – both as a headline call to arms across all media platforms, and a route to driving product trial at Base Brixton itself.

By engaging and directing internal specialists across experiential, digital and creative disciplines, we would create a football world that made the choice between Chaos and Control impossible to ignore.

As the Premier League season and annual purchase of new boots approached in August, consumers wouldn’t want to select their brand, they would instead want to establish whether they were a Chaos Maker or Control Taker, picking X or Ace as a result.

MAKING IT HAPPEN
We had to take this choice to the heart of the community – we couldn’t merely amplify the question through traditional media, we had to ask consumers face to face, in a place they’d feel both comfortable and inspired.

Through a unique government partnership we gained exclusive access to Pop Brixton – a new urban retail and social space designed to drive opportunity for local residents.

We then designed and built an experiential structure that could seamlessly integrate with the existing site and stitch adidas into the fabric of the city.

Over six days and nights we would give all guests (who signed up for an e-ticket at our bespoke website BaseBrixton.com) the chance to trial both Ace and X boots inside a state-of-the-art testing zone. Next door we gave our audience a unique playing arena in which they could be scouted by elite clubs and meet their professional heroes.

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