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How adidas Originals is capturing audience’s mindspace with experiential marketing

The brand introduces Creators Collective and Ghost Drop as major experiential concepts that will travel to key cities it targets

adidas Originals, the sportswear brand for the streets, is influencing the crowd by discovering different experiential marketing concepts to give consumers a better experience of the brand and its products.

Experiential marketing, which plays a huge role in increasing purchases from existing customers, encouraging repeat purchase, and most importantly attracting lapsed customers, has become a major marketing tool for adidas over the years.

The brand recently hosted a ‘Ghost Drop’ event as its part of experiential marketing initiative to enhance consumer engagement with the brand. The event intended to create hype around ‘mystery items’ that consumers can win from the brand by competing in a raffle contest across multiple brand outlets in Mumbai. The brand ended up engaging with over 300 sneaker-heads across the city by dropping ‘ghost’ items as they tried to win hype ‘mystery’ products and celebrate street style culture.

The sneaker hounds in the city enthusiastically bonded over games, food and music, and cheered for the trefoil as the coveted ‘ghosts’ were dropped at each venue.

“This was one of the most innovative and engaging consumer activities by a sports and street wear brand, which brought the entire sneaker community in the city together. Such branding and marketing innovations have proved to be a breakthrough concept for adidas Originals as it has helped the brand to capture the network of influencers and consumer-rich experiences,” said Sharad Singla, Brand Marketing Director, adidas India.

adidas puts a huge focus on the personal and direct involvement of influencers in the actual designing process. In doing so, it ensures its collaborations feel entirely authentic rather than purely sales-driven.

Earlier in August 2018, the brand announced the concept of ‘Creators Collective’ in India, with the launch of the Falcon, an edgy women-focused sneaker, inspired from the ’90s pop culture. The first ever edition engaged over 10 creative minds from fashion, style, art and lifestyle, to assemble at the ‘makers-lab’ and co-create and re-imagine the Falcon by customising a 3D version of the shoe.

The initiative Creators Collective is a monthly consumer-led activation anchored by a Creator to invite and engage with consumers through workshops pertaining to beat boxing, photography and street art.

All one needs to do is to explore one’s creativity at this platform. It is a platform to collaborate and unleash creativity.

“Today the concept has attracted many creative minds across various gamut be it Street Style Fashion by Shivani Boruah, Free Style Hip Hop by Pavan Rao; the list of the artists are only building, wanting to be part of the Creators Collective,” said Singla.

The overwhelming response for the creators Collective across the country led to the concept being introduced at the brand’s Brigade Store in Bengaluru.

Speaking on the brand’s focus on experiential marketing, he said, “Experiential marketing allows the consumer to be heard and pivots a direction that brings everyone closer. The consumers not only get to interact personally with the brand but also be the progressive voices to influence a culture of the city. With our two major successes in experiential marketing concepts, we target to spread this marketing strategy to other key cities.”

Brands, including the likes of Myntra, have ramped up their push to street fashion after Gully Boy. While experts agree that the films bring a new trend in fashion, but is this big enough for big brands to cash in on? To this, Singla said, “Street culture has become prevalent in India in the last few years. adidas Originals has been an anchor in bringing the street culture and sneaker trend to India. Gully Boy is depiction of one such street culture – of the hip hop artists.”

“Gully Boy is a reflection of the love that the creative community, artist, and consumers have for the brand. When it comes to in-film marketing and brand tie-ups, it is important that the brand values are in sync with the message the movie is trying to portray and the product is a seamless experience for the audiences and not a force-fit that the consumers have not signed up for. And this is also part of the growing culture, we have been consistently investing efforts to elevate product experience and create innovative brand moments for consumers and key street style aficionados,” he added.

This culture has been a near perfect marriage for over 30 years for adidas Originals, ever since the pioneers RUN DMC first came out stunting their Superstars in the early to mid-80s. The brand has been ubiquitous around the rap scene, on the feet of some of hip hop’s most influential artists. The marriage between adidas and hip hop continues till today with Pusha T, Pharrell, Kanye and now in Gully Boy with Ranveer.

“As a brand, we have always represented voices of the street and catered to the large youth segment. adidas originals had supported todays India’s Rap Phenomenon Naezy much before Gully Boy was written,” said Singla.

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