Nike Vs. Adidas – How did they use video marketing in 2017

Nike and Adidas are the two most competitive brands in terms of video marketing. They like to invest in the content they produce as it is widely viewed across the globe.

Let us analyze video campaigns released in 2017 by both the rivals to learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating an impressive ad campaign.

NIKE – The Roger Effect

The first one in the list is a very clever yet funny video commercial by Nike featuring Tennis legend Roger Federer. It was released in June 2017 – apt timing for upcoming Tennis tournaments.

The ad shows a stadium full of fans watching Roger Federer play a match. The fans are so inspired and pumped up by watching their icon in action that all of them including the chair umpire start getting into Tennis gear while watching the game. As soon as the match is over, they all start running… watch the ad to find out where all of them are heading?


  • Very clever use of the brand ambassador with an apt title -The Roger Effect. The title, which is the most important part of an ad says it all. Read this article to learn how to create outstanding video ads.
  • Uses very few words hence more universal appeal since it does not need any language to understand the ad.
  • Branding is everywhere from the opening shot to the ending one.
  • Great storytelling with suspense where you want to know what happens next.
  • Excellent shots and energetic background music makes it fun to watch.
  • Great connect with Federer fans across the world.
Adidas – Unleash Your Creativity

Next in the list is the most watched ad by Adidas titled “Unleash Your Creativity” with viewership of whopping 32 million views in 10 months.


This Adidas ad says – hard work only gets you so far. To make a real difference, you need something more powerful. Your creativity. Unleash it and see just how far you can go. Watch the commercial to find out more.


  • The ad shows various sport men and women employing innovative workout strategies and excelling in their chosen sport.
  • Powerful commentary in the background inspires the viewer to be creative and work hard to go above and beyond their personal best.
  • Not much focus on the brand – Adidas logo appears briefly.
  • The ad is only 30 secs long but covers many different sports and workout routines.
NIKE – Want It All

Next video in our list is the Nike ad – Want It All. It was released just 2 months back and has a viewership of 17 million plus.

Want is all – is about the hustle, confidence and style at every level of the game. In the film, a young kid with big ambitions sees his future play out before his eyes. From the neighbourhood streets to the NBA courts, he wants it all. Watch the video to experience his journey.


  • Very energetic music, fast paced, engaging and exciting ad.
  • Inspires viewers to dream big and work hard to achieve them.
  • Features American basketball superstar LeBron James.
  • Good focus on branding with the Nike logo appearing in every frame.
Adidas – Futurecraft 4D: Create

In this commercial, Adidas unveils FUTURECRAFT 4D. The world’s first high performance footwear featuring midsoles crafted with light and oxygen.

To create FUTURECRAFT 4D, adidas’ experience in sport and design was combined with Carbon’s pioneering digital light synthesis technology to create the ultimate running shoe for all athletes. This technology will reshape the footwear manufacturing universe. Watch the entire film to learn more.


  • The ad talks about the thinking process, deep research, conceptualization and innovation that goes in to launching a new path breaking, high performance footwear.
  • Features bright minds involved in the entire process from the creative director, senior design director and engineering manager from Adidas to the CEO of Carbon talking about their passion to invent a next generation product.
  • Making real life people participate in the ad campaign gives it more authentic feel.
  • Good focus on branding, Adidas logo is displayed prominently.
  • The ad is 3 mins long but the visual presentation of the information is very engaging and the viewer never feels bored.
  • Creative way to showcase commitment to quality and customer comfort.
NIKE – Impossible Stairs

Next one is the most viewed Nike ad of 2017 titled “Impossible Stairs” which was released 6 months back and has 20 million plus views.

In this ad, a girl is intending to climb up the epic set of stairs at the Lyon Street Steps, San Francisco. The ad is for the Nike Air VaporMax shoes. Watch the ad to see if she was able to pull off the feat.


  • Creative way to display the color and style combinations of the shoes with every step.
  • Message conveyed is very effective – An epic set of stairs is no match for the new Nike Air VaporMax, and the 30 years of Air that came before it.
  • Nike logo is prominently displayed so the brand positioning is very clear.
  • Beach Day’s song “I’m Just Messin’ Around” fits perfectly with the setting.
  • The ad length is 1 minute and it keeps you engaged.
Adidas – Calling All Creators

The last ad in our article is from Adidas, again with the focus on creativity. This ad garnered 6 million views in a short span of only four weeks.

In this ad, Adidas is calling all of those who see obstacles for a chance to win bigger. The game changers, the difference makers, the boundary breakers.


  • Opening sentence “Everyday is a chance…” sets the upbeat and hopeful mood to the ad. The viewer is inspired to overcome obstacles, be innovative and see challenges as opportunities.
  • It is a great message which is applicable not just in sports but everyday life of everyday people. Helpful in creating positive brand image.
  • The ad shows glimpses of shoe designing and making process which is a great way to show off the production process.
  • Perfect example of how companies can demonstrate their commitment to quality, continuous innovation and pride they take in their work.
  • Shows how waste plastic can be converted into high performance sportswear which relates well with environmentally conscious people.
Conclusion –

Nike and Adidas both are strong contenders in the fight for the top spot. Both have come up with innovative video campaigns.

In most of the ads, Adidas is focusing on creativity, innovation and product quality. They promote diversity through their ads and inspire viewers to excel by being creative. Creating positive brand image in the consumer’s mind seems to be their top strategy. Most of the ads look and sound similar which is good for brand positioning and recall, but also make the commercials repetitive in nature.  Not much focus on direct selling and storytelling.

Nike video ads have better storytelling with proper start, middle and end of the story. They have slightly less viewership compared to Adidas ads. But they inspire the viewer to get up and get moving. In their ads, branding is very prominent, they have sports legends like LeBron James and Roger Federer leading to strong connect with their fans globally.

If you liked the comparative analysis, please do share this article.

Further Reading –

Holiday campaign ideas to help you reconnect with your customers

Amazon Vs. Flipkart – Comparing video campaigns by ecommerce giants

David Ogilvy’s guide for hiring an ad agency

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Nike Vs Adidas – How did they use video marketing in 2017 was last modified on October 7th, 2018 by Anuradha