Adidas Gets the Street


My colleagues make fun of me for displaying an unhealthy passion for outdoor advertising. I guess this has to do with the fact that I have always been a guerrilla marketer at heart…but one with a robust budget to work with (does that still make me a guerrilla?).

I am enthralled by street media, street art and street culture. Why not? That’s where we live…at least us urban dwellers, who have haunted the sidewalks of NYC, LA, London, Paris, Rio, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Culcutta…you get the picture.


These are the places where trends are born, where creativity is rewarded with untold riches, where “the next big thing” is happening at the clubs, in the basements and in the streets.

So, this is all a long-winded introduction to this campaign from Adidas for its new Adicolor line of shoes.


The entire platform to the line is personalization and the use of a vibrant palette of colors. So what better way to activate such a platform than with graffiti – personalization, creativity and color all in one gorgeous package of guerrilla street art and culture.

But it’s not just enough to co-opt graffiti culture, like Sony did for a recent launch of the P2P player…and failed miserably. Adidas took it to an experiential level.


Even the Wooster Collective is impressed:

Of all the recent street campaigns we’ve seen lately, this is our favorite one by far. It’s extremely clever, but most importantly it fits the brand perfectly. It takes advantage of the street to the fullest. And most of all, it turns the tables in an absolutely brilliant way that is extremely impressive.

First, Adidas put up a series of mostly white flyerposters – branded with the Adidas logo – that subtly encouraged people to tag the billboard and basically fuck it up.

But then, days later, they came back to those same ads and placed another poster over it. The new poster features the Adidas Adicolor shoe, now with the original tags from the previous poster incorporated into the show design.


This is experiential marketing in the outdoor realm. Kudos to the team in Germany who came up with this. I can’t wait to see something like this in North America, where modern street art was born.

Hopefully, this campaign will show that merely co-opting a trend is never enough. One must embrace it, and then encourage others to engage in it.

Pretty cool, eh?


  1. If you are enthraled by guerrilla art, as you claim, you would detest this corporate highjacking.
    Wooster might like it (they are after all, advertising execs. by trade), but most street artists detest this crap.
    Have a nice day.

  2. Xenmate,
    I totally empathize with your statement. I, however, am a marketer — for better or worse. That’s how I make a living. In all my work, I try to keep a realtive outlook on co-opting or corporate hijacking. I agree with you that as artists, it must drive you nuts. But all successful art forms will be appropriated for non-artistic purposes, whether artists like it or not. The question is, how do you work within the system to ensure that creativity is supported and rewarded outside of it.

  3. Adidas Buy

    Compare Mens Shoes prices and store ratings before

  4. Great info, thanks a lot!!! I wish I will have such a writing skills.

  5. Adidas is coming out with a lot of good new sneakers and I appreciate that but I just cant see them surpassing what Nike has done and continues to do, particularly things like Nike Dunks are very popular and Adidas has not come out with a good premium shoe that can compete with the the Nike Dunks, at least thats why I continue to buy Nike.

  6. i agree with PODO

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