I got a kick out of these ads I found via StumbleUpon earlier. From 1999–2000, Adidas ran a series of print ads featuring scenes runners would commonly connect with. Not only are the scenes real, many of the conversations I’ve seen have people laughing because we can relate from our own running experiences.

I can’t help but wonder what people think of me running in these cold mountain winters or in the middle of hot deserts.

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This Is Not Advertising shared this piece on the campaign: ‘‘I am so tired of this huge trend where ads keep telling you that you are not adequate in some way. ‘Be that’ or ‘Do this.’ . . . What is wrong with celebrating the fun-ness of the brand? . . . Better to have a conversation with people, not a conversation at people.’’

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In keeping with this belief, and to make the most of Adidas’s marketing dollars, Leagas Delaney created a series of colorful print ads that celebrated running with a direct and unique approach only runners would likely appreciate and understand. Ehringer explained, ‘‘The unusual thing about [the campaign] was we were really very literal about it. I think it was pretty courageous to do ads that were so honest about really talking to runners that a lot of people wouldn’t even know what you were talking about.’’ To add an extra element of interest and to further suggest Adidas’s bond with runners, many of the ads starred Adidas-sponsored runners, talented athletes with little face-recognition value. [Source]

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