Adidas and Nike have always shared territories by using a roster of stars to say nothing much in particular (apart from something about aspiration), but here they seem to be stamping on each other’s boots like never before:

The proposition appears to be something like ‘total commitment’

The proposition appears to be something like ‘total commitment’

The proposition appears to be something like ‘total commitment’

The proposition appears to be something like ‘total commitment’

We don’t think much of either of them compared to what’s gone before, but the Adidas execution delivers the proposition far more effectively – at least it suggest some commitment!

Whilst they are executionally different, what they seem to be trying to communicate is identical – although in truth the Nike ad says little beyond ‘look how many stars we’ve signed up’.

Of course we recognise that for TV advertised brands, posters are often a secondary, ‘reminder’ media, but we don’t think that excuses the Nike execution: there is no reason why secondary media shouldn’t be expected to work as hard as it is able.

Nike’s TV is a bit less flat: it has a bit of emotion in it and the production values are excellent, as you would expect, but it doesn’t seem to deliver the proposition very much more effectively than the poster does, despite the vastly greater opportunities that TV affords:

All in all, very disappointing from two of the world’s great sporting brands, with a history of entertaining – if not particularly differentiating – advertising, such as this: (sadly before the days of HD)