Just when we thought the 'athletes are people too' trope was exhausted, along comes 180 Amsterdam's new campaign for adidas, taking the "Impossible is Nothing" line and applying it to situations much more accessible to the public than the three-pointer at the buzzer or the goal in the 91st minute. Jocks know full well that they're only as strong as their anterior cruciate ligament, so when their parts malfunction, or their skills are seen as inadequate, it can be ego-shattering. This new campaign, which brings big name athletes into art therapy sessions to confront their most trying of times, directly addresses the mental tenacity famous athletes have demonstrated in conquering their inner demons-or even genuine physical handicaps in the case of rugby star Jonah Lomu, who overcame a crippling illness that threatened to turn his massive frame (which carried an enormous suffocating fish through crowded streets back to water in an adidas classic
) into a physical prison.
Adidas - 'Gilbert Arenas'
Telling the story with animations might come off as cute, but it nicely brings out the more vulnerable, more human side of each sports giant. And despite the slightly gimmicky crutch of art therapy, the intensely personal and ultimately endearing nature of the confessions gives the campaign some genuine heart.