It’s time for us to get inspired by Adidas’ new campaign conceptualised by Taproot Dentsu along with Isobar and Carat. It’s high time that we start recognising our Indian para-athletes and pay head to their plight. The brand understands that and shows it in a sweet gesture with their new range of shoes
Akansha Mihir Mota | Mumbai | September 12, 2016
German sportswear giant adidas on Friday announced the launch of a unique footwear initiative 'Odds’, which is a pair of shoes for the same foot, catering to the needs of the para-athletes. For the same, Taproot Dentsu and Carat Media conceptualised and launched an inspiring film featuring athlete Major DP Singh, India’s first blade runner with Kabir Bedi lending his voice for the cause. The film captures the Major’s life and his passion for running.
‘Odds’ is a pair of shoes for the same foot. The initiative emerged from a simple insightful idea from Taproot Dentsu of giving para-athletes, primarily blade runners, a pair of the same side footwear they need, rather than the generic pair that is sold to consumers. It is an ode to all athletes in the world who choose to run against the odds.
Speaking about the initiative, Damyant Singh, Senior Marketing Director, adidas India, said, “At adidas we live a simple principle. No Athlete left behind. This philosophy is at the heart of ‘Odds by adidas’. It is our way of encouraging and cheering Para-athletes on to achieving their best on the field of play and we hope Major DP Singh’s story inspires many more to live their dreams and prove that Sports has the power to change lives”
‘Odds’ will feature the adidas Mana Bounce from the 2016 Fall Winter range. Depending upon the need, athletes can either choose to buy a pair of shoes for the right foot or a pair of shoes for the left foot. The product will be available on www.shop.adidas.co.in
The film depicts the day in the life of Major Singh and how he gets up in the morning and starts his training. He runs with the blades on his half leg across patchy roads, bridges, slopes and where not. He exercises and prepares himself on a daily basis, without giving up on his strength and will any single day.
Santosh Padhi, Co-Founder and CCO, Taproot Dentsu Communication considers the film really close to his heart. He being a marathon runner, Padhi felt it important to do something for the para-athletes and this courageous community.
Padhi elaborated, “I know a youth named Angad. Who is a true inspiration not only me but hundreds of runners like me, He is special runner who runs the Standard Charted Marathon every year. When I saw him just before a kilometre away around Fountain area in Mumbai, of my 21 kilometres Marathon, he was pushing himself and somehow managing to walk the 2.5 Kilometres which he usually does every year. There were hundreds of audience cheering him, towards the end I was cramping and limping when I saw Angad’s spirit and courage on the track, my cramps just disappeared, This is how these special athletes inspire millions of us, hence we thought why cannot we have such people's stories to celebrate them which in a way will push other to get into some form of physical activity.”
He added, “Carat and Isobar handles Adidas. There was some Adidas brief we were working together with Carat during which we first came up with this idea. That's where the germ of the thought of two lefts or two rights, we all were very excited to hear the idea, Carat went and pitched it to Adidas and they were more than happy with this initiative.”
Commenting on the how the ad film build up, Padhi said, “When we had this product idea of two left and two right shoes for the para athletes, we thought it’s important to launch the product with a emotional connect, ideally we wanted a bigger group of para-athlete to be the face of this campaign, as each of their bouncing back life stories with different life graphs could have added a completely new emotional multi dimension to the campaign, Unfortunately, the time was less and after meeting Major DP Singh we felt we got the right protagonist to take the idea to a different level, I feel we are extremely lucky that we got somebody like Major DP Singh, who is good looking, super fit, full of life, intelligent and great understand of creativity, consumers and their mindsets, all of these really helped us during the three days of shoot. "
When the action started...
Recollecting the shoot days, Padhi said, “Initially we thought it’s not going to be easy to shoot him, specially when the entire film is on him, considering he is not a model and you are using him as a protagonist. But Veneet the director wanted to spend some time with Major before the shoot, which actually helps the process and the end product I would say.”
He added, “Where ever we wanted him to run without any hesitation he took on all the even uneven tracks, be it rocky or muddy he hardly bothered about himself, he is quite a challenger and fighter! We could see a 100 per cent army man today also in him.”
Sharing his feelings attached to the campaign, Padhi said, “I am extremely proud of this campaign as this would put some light on this community who has been ignored in a cricketing nation like ours, it’s time we celebrate these ultra-energetic, brave, courageous and passionate human beings. This campaign will help put some light on their approach towards life.”
Umesh Shrikhande, CEO, Taproot Dentsu India, “Celebrating impossibly glorious feats makes all of us strive harder and look beyond our limitations. Such is the power of this story-telling.”
Know the Brave man here
Major D.P. Singh is India’s first blade runner. Back during the 1999 Kargil war, he suffered multiple injuries and lost his right leg. It took him a year and 2 months to start walking again. But when he did, he decided that walking wouldn’t be enough. He must set an example. In 2009, he ran his first half marathon on one leg and took the nation by surprise. Today, Major DP Singh has competed in 18 marathons and continues to run against all odds.
Major DP Singh believes, “Losing a body part isn’t disability. Losing the will to fight against the odds is. Celebrate the odds and be a winner. If you wish to give up anything, give up ‘giving up’. The journey of becoming ‘A Challenger’ from being ‘Challenged’ starts in the mind and drives you into action.”
The campaign is an ode to all these odd runners who inspire the world with their relentless spirit. It is a reminder to the rest of us, that instead of being bound by what’s lost, we must strive to achieve greatness with what’s left.
The ad-men give 100/100 marks to the campaign
KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro, said, “The ad film is just brilliant for so many reasons. Adidas has been doing this globally also. They have been making ad campaigns with the athletes globally. So, it is not out of the place to do this. They are not jumping on the band wagon but are genuinely committed to the cause and philosophy. The ad film is beautifully and very well written. One finds less of such writing in Indian commercials. The writing is really inspiring. Of course, the visuals are complimentary and good. The brand’s offering is also nice. They have two shoes for the left and two for the right one. It reminded me of something what Louis Philippe did some 25 years back for the Left Handers’ Day. The brilliance also lies in the product offering. Showing a man running with one leg is good, but showing a man running with one leg and attaching it to the product’s offering is great. So, here it turns to great from good.”
Emmanuel Upputuru, Founder & Chief Integration Officer, ITSA calls himself an ITSA fan of Aggi and Padhi. He said, "This is a good effort on many levels. The first thing I like about it is, it is not just an ad film. It is a film about a new product line - which is the idea. Secondly the product idea is not alien to original category of the product - I mean many good initiatives have nothing to do with the category that the product plays in. The integrated idea about Odds is great - of course it comes from Agnello's agency - the one who wrote: ‘I like odds. They help me get even.’ The film itself is nice - nicely shot, nicely written. Just one small crib and it’s a point of view I have on Indian films with English voiceovers: Avoid them. Don't get me wrong. I am not against the artists. Kabir Bedi has a great voice but it's not same as Clint Eastwood for Chrysler or Sam Elliot for Ram Trucks or Nash Kato for Puma after hours athlete."
Anil K Nair, CEO & Managing Partner Digital L&K Saatchi&Saatchi and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Drugstore India, said, “I believe that it's a brave initiative for India by the brand and the agency. We as a country need to be more sensitive to the challenges faced by the differently abled. We lag behind other developing nations in this regard. Stories like these will go a long way into bringing this burning topic into the national mainstream. We need to create a policy to make all public places accessible for them. The coverage difference between the Rio Olympics and the current Paralympics is symptomatic of this malaise in our collective consciousness. Full power to this piece of communication.”
Manish Bhatt, Founder Director, Scarecrow Communications, said, “I give hundred out of hundred to the product idea from the agency’s end when advertising becomes so meaningful and connecting. When someone has come up with a product idea and beyond the advertising mandate and that is the role of the creative agency and the creative person. It’s not easy to convince the client to launch something. Communication has the highest role when someone from the communication agency comes up with a meaningful product. It’s very courageous for an agency to convince a big brand like adidas.”
Saurabh Dasgupta, National Creative Director, Innocean Worldwide, said, “It’s simply beautiful. Trust adidas to do something like this. Rarely do we get to see something as uplifting. I really love the part where the voiceover says ‘to risk the other to make up for the one that's already gone'. Brilliant writing there. It makes our everyday difficulties look really small and insignificant. It takes ‘Impossible is Nothing’ to the next level. Wish I had written this film.”
Agency: Taproot Dentsu
Chief Creative Officer: Santosh Padhi (Paddy) & Agnello Dias
Creatives: Santosh Padhi (Paddy), Piyush Gupta, Apoorva Jain, Shraddha Jagtap, Shivam
Account Management: Umesh Shrikhande, Ayesha Ghosh, Gargi Raju, Radhika Saha
Production House: Nomad Films India.
Director: Veneet Raj Bagga.
DOP: Tassaduq Hussain
Executive Producer: Anju Vaswani
Producer: Manju Moses
Media Agency: Carat
Digital Agency: Isobar