Carat Brands It Forward with Adidas and Reebok Campaigns

An upcoming campaign from Adidas will use a combination of mobile, online and traditional ad placements to convey the great moments in basketball don’t always happen on the court, but can come in the small moments between plays or after the game.

Carat and Isobar USA CEO Sarah Fay gave a preview of the campaign during a presentation this week at OMMA, just before presenting the results of work for Adidas corporate sibling Reebok. Both athletic footwear efforts empower consumers to spread the brand message, an approach that increasingly governs Carat’s client work, she said.

The “brotherhood’ themed Adidas campaign is targeted at young men and centers on a mobile experience. Visitors to a “Brotherhood” site will be able to create and send personalized voice messages recorded by several pro players, including Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, and Chauncey Billups. The low-key messages can either be forwarded to friends or used as greetings on users’ own phones. The voice capabilities are powered by Varitalk, whose other clients have included New Line Cinema for “Snakes on a Plane” and Palmolive.

The mobile piece was created by Isobar and Carat, while EVB handled the online creative and TBWA did the offline work. Fay said Adidas recently expanded its relationship with Carat, handing it strategy and media planning duties as well as involving it in writing creative briefs.

Fay separately shared some results of a recent campaign for Reebok in which the agency made “the whole campaign drive to the digital experience.” Every piece of media, she said, had some form of digital interaction. TV and print advertising urged people to visit, where they could post favorite runs using a Google Maps/Flickr mashup. Media for the Reebok campaign ran between April and June, but visitors to hailed from countries not included in the original media plan.

“It got us more than we paid for…and it lives on,” she said.

Giving people the tools to spread a campaign message is hardly a new idea in digital marketing, but it’s taken on a renewed importance at Carat and other agencies to judge from the panels at Advertising Week. Fay likened executing such a campaign to planting a tree, whereas she said traditional advertising is more like painting a house in that it “degenerates from day one.”

“We have to find ways to talk through the consumer to get our message across,” she said. “It gives us credibility that we can’t get on our own — the authenticity of someone else owning the Adidas brand and passing that along to their friends.”

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