Here's a spec piece for adidas that came out last year when we were all on holiday. As nicely filmed as it is, you can tell it's spec from the start. For one thing "break free," is as see-say a tagline as they come. And it acts more as a tagline to the story rather than the brand. With the exception of some very old school tennis shoes, there is zero in the way of actual branding.
Another thing: how come the old man is being held hostage in the old folks home? Why are they preventing him from running? They're trying really hard to be metaphorical I guess but it comes across as being like the guy's held against his will by horrible people who should be his caretakers. It's almost as if the work was made by a student so in love with the concept they didn't stop to think.
Maybe Filmakademie Baden-Württember just has a fixation with breaking free, as in this Harley spec ad. Or death in general, as in this Johnny Walker for another example.At least their Dirt Devil spec ad showed a sense of humor. As such it also has a product benefit (vacuum has great power) that Dirt Devil can actually own, straight down to the cheeky parody of The Exorcist.
As cinematic as this spot is, at its heart it says everything about the love of running but nothing about adidas.You could swap a Nike logo on here, or Mizuno or whatever running shoe brand you like and it would be the same--a great spot for running but not very good when it comes to branding. Sorry, but product shots alone don't count. More importantly, people don't run to break free. Breaking through the wall on a long distance run, yes. But otherwise they are running for the joy of running.
More importantly, when's the last time adidas cared about anyone besides cool kids or celebrities?
Jens Weisser, Herman Van Ulzen, Anja Karmanski, Hiltrud Hauschke, Daniel Hubertus
Director / Script – Eugen Merher
Producer – Karli Baumann, Karl Heidelbach
DoP – Mortimer Hochberg
Editor – Ernst Lattik
Music – Alexander Wolf David
Sounddesign – Marcus Fass
Sound recording – David Hill
Maske – Sandra Untenberger
Production Design – Nora Brockamp, Julian Dieterich
VFX – Tim Markgraf
Production Company – Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg