impossible is nothing: adidas brands beijing.

I think Adidas is the best brand in the world. I gush and swoon over almost everything they do, and their new campaign for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics is no different.



Launched last week, “Together in 2008, Impossible is Nothing” is a clear build on the wildly successful Impossible is Nothing” campaign. Already having garnered word-wide cred with a gallery of sport stars not just from the West, but recognizable around the globe, it’s an ideal international concept to add an Olympic facet to.

The Olympics market themselves. Vancouver 2010, London 2012 – these are no brainers. But with Beijing something greater is going on. Nobody is friends with China. It’s a huge, secretive, maligned communist giant whose economy is now so powerful that the rest of the world is forced to deal with them economically whether they wish to or not. The mere fact that the IOC granted these games to Beijing is a political statement unto itself. China simply can’t be ignored. So why not throw our most glorified international human triumph party there and see if we can all become a little less weirded out by each other before someone freaks and presses the red button?But how will this notion of inclusion affect the branding of Beijing?

Featuring some of China’s most famous Olympians, the campaign blends live action with CGI and will begin an onslaught of TV, print, outdoor, digital, point-of-sale, and more as the games approach. In true Adidas style, the images are moving: each athlete soars and runs and dives to glory. The power of sport is beautifully emotionalized. Big deal, right? That clearly isn’t breaking new ground, but what is are how in these images the athletes are shown supported by literal seas of people… Chinese people. Nameless hordes of greyed-out people are given purpose by banding together to support the vividly coloured athletes. The allusion to a drone nation becoming more than the sum of it’s parts only by working together (hello, it’s called Communism…) is blatant. And startlingly powerful…



I think Adidas has found the perfect way in. China is a social and political force that can’t be changed (at least not in the next 9 months), and it’s enormous differences to the normal Western locales that host the Olympics can’t ignored. So instead, they’ve honed a more subtle way to focus on the sporting glory of the games in a way that everyone will understand while also bringing to life an idea of their own reality that the Chinese will understand. The messaging has dual layers which compliment each other if you notice, but don’t negate each other if you don’t. It’s a complete gold medal bull’s eye. Adidas does it yet again.



  1. love this! gave me shivers… and now i want shoes? how do they do this? adidias has always been able to turn it out – there is a reason that I keep heading back to the store – i find myself liking other brands more, yet still buy the adidas – im the perfect consumer? check out the garage style adidas store in NYC, or the adidas store (half baby) in Philly! thanks jer


  1. […] raving about how much I love Adidas (here, here, here, here… here, and here, too. oh, and here. and here and here… and one more […]

  2. […] continues it’s more Chinese-nationalist approach it’s taken throughout its entire “In 2008 Impossible Is Nothing” campaign for the games. While the Coca Cola spot (and, indeed, most Olympic spots in general) looks […]

  3. […] jia” + “zheng zhi”. 19 03 2008 A while ago, I wrote a post called “Impossible Is Nothing: Adidas Brands Beijing” right after Adidas (the greatest brand in the world, in my opinion) launched it’s “In […]

Whatcha Thinkin?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s