adidas Impact Campaign
Winner of a Gold Lion at Cannes, a Gold Pencil at the One Show, as well as winning Europe’s prestigious Epica d’Or, the “Impact” campaign created for adidas in celebration of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, is a fully integrated campaign that began as a series of posters.
It then grew organically to include giant building and bus wraps, a calendar and something the players were particularly excited about, a touring art exhibition entitled Impact: The Art of Rugby with an accompanying art book published in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
In addition to all this, the entire 'making of' was filmed and turned into TV commercials that ran during the World Cup matches.
The basic concept was to cover adidas sponsored rugby players in paint and ask them to hurl themselves at white canvases. The resulting marks would convey the power of the game and its athletes, putting the viewer in the midst of the action. These images would then form the artwork for the 2003 Rugby World Cup campaign.
The original impressions on canvas were first unveiled in Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse and later traveled to New Zealand. These canvases, of and by 14 of the world’s top rugby players, were then turned into 14 separate print and outdoor posters. Each execution focused on a different insight or aspect of the player’s performance.
The resulting work is an innovative spin on the tired world of the sports celebrity endorsement; in this case each athlete was actively involved, donating their own image as a unique self-portrait. It was that rare thing in advertising - a generally original concept that perfectly matched the brand with the sport.
In addition to collecting a gold and bronze Lion at Cannes, it also won gold, silver and bronze pencils at the One Show; including a silver for exceptional innovation in marketing for a campaign. The Impact campaign also received recognition from D&AD, the ANDYs, the Clios and Eurobest.