beijing 2008: adidas’ countdown + coca cola’s bird’s nest stadium.

I’ve been obsessed with the marketing buzz building towards Beijing 2008 for quite a while now, particularly with the stunning work from one of my fave brands, Adidas, and their “In 2008 Impossible Is Nothing” campaign.

Now the games are finally here. This morning I got up at 7am to watch the Opening Ceremonies live. I’m not an early riser by any means, but an Olympics opening is one of the greatest spectacles of our time. I don’t want to give anything away for those who will be watching tonight, but Beijing turned out the most pomped out, kick ass, jaw dropping, absolutely over-whelming display of light, precision, synchronization, and sheer human effort. It’s one of the very few things, if not the only thing, that the world collectively agrees to turn its attention to in a generally positive light. And for that it should be cherished.

This last week some of the big guns have really amped up their marketing and turned out some proper Olympic-style work. Here we’ve got two new spots that launched this week in the final build up to the games.

First up is Coca Cola’s cutesie pie “Bird’s Nest Stadium”. So much of Olympics advertising is lazy and relies on the natural drama of sport without taking a fresh or humanistic approach. Show a bunch of people diving, twirling, and running, que the cheering crowds, slap your logo on the end, et voila. This spot does much more but simultaneously doesn’t try and veer too much from what this is all about. Without hitting us over the head, it’s a nice blend of that human-family multicultural angle that the Olympics just beg for and also highlights, in an undeniably adorable ending, the excitement and anticipation most of us feel for the world’s biggest sporting event. It’s pure feel good and a total bull’s eye:

(Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam. Directors: Eric Lerner + Thomas Hilland. Production: Partizan.)

With “Countdown”, Adidas 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) take the POV of being a non-athlete in another country, watching and supporting the games from afar, the Adidas spots went for something different. They focussed on specific Chinese athletes (such as Hu Jia and Zheng Zhi) and didn’t shy away from the tremendous pressure they feel to honour their country. In this final spot, it broadens that anticipation from the individual athletes to that of the entire Chinese population. A particularly interesting angle to take for these games, for while we can all identify with a sense of national pride, China’s not an open book. The catalyst for what might be encouraging China’s national identity isn’t freely shared with the rest of us.

Still, the feeling it evokes is honest and the visual idea of citizens physically imitating their Olympic heroes, moved almost beyond thought and action into just a pure manifestion of national will (which, let’s be honest, isn’t a far cry from China any ol’ time), is wonderfully effective.

(Agency: TBWA China. Director: NEO. Production: Stink, London.)

Via Motionographer + Creativity Online

Comments

  1. “While the Coca Cola spot (and, indeed, most Olympic spots in general) take the POV of being a non-athlete in another country, watching and supporting the games from afar.”

    I wonder how much of that was driven by the whole protesting china’s treatment of Tibet and general human freedom thing. Of course it is relate able as most of the audience has to support the games from afar.

    “The catalyst for what might be encouraging China’s national identity isn’t freely shared with the rest of us”

    Oppression comes to mind.

  2. Margaret Bessai says:

    Mom “dribbling” her child is very fun to me…

  3. MANUEL says:

    I think the spots are cool, and all this about the Beijing was so amazin’ i watched the openin’ and it’s all you said XD

Trackbacks

  1. […] brand in the world. I’ve spent a lot of time 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. […] Beijing 2008 Olympics anticipated new TV spots: In the final build-up to the opening of Beijing 2008, two wonderful and anticipated new TV spots – Coca Cola’s “Bird’s Nest Stadium” and Adidas’ “Countdown” – were finally aired this week. […]

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