Is 72andSunny's First Adidas Work for China Making a Dig at Under Armour?

There's Also a Surprise Visit From David Beckham

By Angela Doland; Ann-Christine Diaz. Published on Jan 12, 2017

Editor's Pick

72andSunny, with offices in L.A., New York and Amsterdam, was named in 2015 as the global agency for Adidas' sports business. This basketball spot, created out of the agency's L.A. and New York offices, is the agency's first work for the China market.

Titled "One in a Billion," it begins from bird's-eye view, looking down on a group of young men in red uniforms going through basketball drills, their dribbles synched, in robotic unison -- so much so that they almost seem like clones of each other -- and even recall spots of one of the brand's biggest competitors, Under Armour.

The men here, however, are all distinct individuals, and one of them decides to veer from the mold and do his own thing. He breaks pattern and throws out some of his own moves, inspiring others to do the same, scattering the perfect, army-like formation of the group.

Their outbreak of creativity spreads across the city, inspiring other athletes to do the same -- a soccer player on a bus, a beach volleyball player, a marathon runner and finally, a ballerina, who brings the first b-ball player's ball into her new routine.

The similarity of scenes makes you wonder if Adidas is making a dig at Under Armour, but the messages are quite different. Under Armour's robotic armies of one drove home the message "Rule Yourself," while globally, Adidas has been positioning itself as the brand for creative athletes. This ad is part of that effort and is about breaking out of the mold in China, where most people's first experience of sports is doing boring calisthenics en masse in the schoolyard. "Among a billion in China, there is only one you," the intro says. "Your creativity is what sets you apart in sport and in life."

Unexpectedly, there's a David Beckham cameo midway through, with a suspicious, CG-like sheen. He's known in China as Xiao Bei, or "Little Beckham."

TBWA Shanghai also has done work for Adidas' "I'm here to create" global platform, including its 2016 campaign for women. Watch that spot here.

Sports have been taking off lately in China as people in polluted megacities start to get more health-conscious, and brands like Adidas and Nike have benefited.

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Jan 12, 2017
72andSunny New York
Director of Global Brand Communications:
Jenny Chen
Senior Manager, Creative Production & Shoot:
Eleanor Fitzgerald
VP of Brand Director of Sports Performance:
Marc Leroux
VP of Brand Activation:
Philip Ho
Senior Director, Global Brand Communications and Media:
Lia Stierwalt
Senior Director of Brand Communications:
Josephine Tsa
Director of Brand Communications:
Lorna Luo
Manager of Brand Communication Training:
Amy Fan
In the campaign
Hui Ruo Qui
Ning Ze Tao
Former European Football Player:
David Beckham
Chief Creative Officer, Co-Founder:
Glenn Cole
Group Creative Director:
Frank Hahn
Creative Director:
Wei Wei Dong
Creative Director:
Matthew Carey
Creative Technologist:
Tim Grover
Ben Wiley
Brandon Mai
Chief Production Officer:
Tom Dunlap
Executive Producer:
Kerli Teo
Jenny Jones
Brand Group Director:
James Stephens
Brand Director:
Ryan Warner
Brand Manager:
Brian Kim
Brand Coordinator:
Brittany Allen
Group Strategy Director:
Sudeep Gohil
Strategy Director:
Ginger Xiang
Senior Strategist:
Marc Pardy
Partnerships & Legal Director:
Christina Rust
Partnerships & Legal Manager:
Kelly Ventrelli
Junior Partnerships & Legal Manager:
Noah Winter
Max Malkin
Co-Founder / Executive Producer:
Kerstin Emhoff
Vice President / Executive Producer:
Ali Brown
Director of Production:
Tracy Hauser
Matt Wersinger
Lost Planet NY
Bruce Herrman
Executive Producer:
Krystn Wagenberg
Paolo Solarte
Sound Design:
Barking Owl
Sound Designer:
Michael Anastasi
Executive Producer/ CD:
Kelly Bayett
Ashley Benton
The Mill NY
Executive Producer:
Melanie Wickham
Senior Producer:
Eliana Carranza-Pitcher
Production Coordinator:
Ashley Goodwin
Shoot Supervisor:
Eliza Randall
2D Lead Artist:
Ilia Mokhtareizadeh
2D Artist:
Vi Nguyen, Andre Vidal, Mikey Smith, Kyle Zemborain
Motion Graphics:
Laura Nash, Chris Mennuto
The Mill NY
Mikey Rossiter
Color Assist:
Nate Seymour and Elias Nousiopoulos
Executive Producer:
Dee Allen
Color Producer:
Natalie Westerfield
Color Coordinator:
Evan Bauer
Heard City
Audio Mixer:
Eric Warzecha
Audio Producer:
Andi Lewis
Audio Executive Producer:
Sasha Awn
Apparat "Ash/Black Veil"
Music Supervision:
Daniel Cross

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