Johannes Leonardo have created a 90 second film of pure symbolism and hype for adidas originals set to Paul Anka's "My Way", coincidentally the very same song President Trump used for the inauguration ball first dance. The ad shows things in motion, never finished, re-interpretations and generations changing. Ferdinando Verderi, creative director, explained the idea: "The film really reflects the design philosophy that the brand is endorsing, this idea of never finished, constant work in progress, constant iteration."
The generational torches being passed on are easy to spot. Former L.A. Laker and NBA legend Abdul-Jabbar stares at you wearing a hoodie as black basketballs hit the floor, then he's switched out for current L.A. Laker player Ingram. American skateboarder Gonz is seen in old looking footage, we then switch to French skater Lucas Puig. Other symbolic scenes make references to art and popular culture. The girl gang clad in white who carry baseball bats may have been inspired by the movie "Warriors", while several versions of "The Birth of Venus" is clearly poking at our common art knowledge. Rapper Snoop Dogg wears an actual dogs head and recreates his album cover art for Doggystyle. Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) dances with himself in mirrors, a bit like Beyoncé did for Pepsi Max. There's deconstructed adidas as tribal face-masks, cameos by DeJ Loaf and hip-hop artist Stormzy, Petra Collins covered in stickers, as well as a gang of men who hang upside down like bats. The batmen end the clip, singing in formation in a such dodgy looking hood you'd think it was a weird Russia meme if they weren't standing up.
There's already theories online that all of the symbolism in this ad is either selling Illuminati or satanism, or both - which means it might actually go viral. Well done.
Ad agency: Johannes Leonardo, New York
Creative Director: Ferdinando Verderi, Wes Phelan and Matthew Edwards.
Client: Alegra O'Hare, VP of global communications adidas