Rebranding campaign - Adidas x Parley

1. Project Brief -

In simple words, we had to rebrand an already existing campaign using Integrated Marketing Tools more effectively.

So, we researched a little - 

2. Campaign Overview - 

Our selected campaign is the official product line collaboration between Adidas and Parley For The Oceans, an environmental organization that addresses environmental threats towards the oceans, through ocean plastic pollution. 

Timeline of the Adidas x Parley campaign -

Production process of an Adidas x Parley shoe -


There has been a lot of focus on the products produced, with print and video advertisements. And social media efforts promoting the UltraBoost Parley sneakers. In addition, products were created in collaboration with influential sport figures such as the Manchester United team. 

We decided to narrow our focus on a less publicized project - Run For The Oceans. Between June 8th (World Ocean Day) and July 8th, the public can track their runs on Runtastic and  for every kilometer run, Adidas will donate US$ 1 to the Parley Ocean Plastic Program. A notable project under the program is the Parley Ocean School, opened in 2015 in the Maldives, with the aim to teach and raise awareness to children on the importance and vulnerability of the ocean, with the hope that they will carry this knowledge with them and implement it into their lives. Adidas also held 14 live running events around the world, gathering 59,138 runners worldwide, notably in Los Angeles, Berlin, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, and more. 

With Adidas as the face of the campaign, we will be analyzing the campaign and providing suggestions on how to further improve the campaign based on Adidas’s standpoint, while retaining Parley’s message of ocean conservation.

3. Social responsibility in businesses -


3.1 Perceptions of Consumers Today

Today’s consumers are cleverer about corporate social responsibility (CSR) than they used to. With an increased understanding of social responsibility and higher education, most of them are able to identify “greenwashing”, which is the practice of undertaking CSR projects for promotional purposes without actually changing their corporate practices. A survey by Nielsen found out that 43% of the general public sees CSR efforts having publicity motives while only 41% agreed that it was purely for corporate responsibility.


Furthermore, CSR is vital for attracting the largest growing market - the millennials, who are especially tech savvy and would not hesitate to do research on a company, scrutinise its ethical records and labour practices. A recent survey by Deliotte discovered that 70% of millennials look at a company’s social responsibility when considering whether or not to work for them; they are increasingly eager to take part in making social and environmental changes.


With that in mind, companies have to work harder than ever to convince consumers that they are sincere in doing CSR work. To overcome this, companies have to be authentic in their communication. Companies can no longer boast about their CSR efforts and should not overstate the scale of the impact of CSR efforts. Consumers want to see that companies understand the issues in-depth and that their actions are both meaningful and sustainable. Consumers also respond better to toned-down, informative approaches such as CSR information on their websites or in annual reports that are already targeted at relevant stakeholders and consumers, instead of having promotional elements.

3.2 How Adidas Does It

Adidas has been active in its CSR efforts and being a sustainable company, drawing attention on issues ranging from the environment to human rights. 


Adidas’ official website, with ‘Sustainability’ as one of its key navigation headers -

pasted image 0.png

In 2016, Adidas launched its Sustainability Strategy ‘Sport needs a space’, which focus on protecting natural spaces that are needed for sports such as oceans, mountains and fields. “These spaces are increasingly endangered because of human-made threats such as resource depletion, climate change or overpopulation,” says Adidas Group CEO, Herbert Hainer.


Adidas has identified six strategic priorities for its Sustainable Strategy, one of which is ‘We Innovate Materials & Processes’ – increasing the use of more sustainable materials in its production. Based on these priorities, it has also set tangible goals to be achieved by 2020, such as to extend the supply chain for Parley Ocean Plastic together with Parley. Another of the priority related to the Parley collaboration is ‘We Inspire Action’ – harnessing the power of sport to drive changes. These goals explain how Adidas x Parley fits perfectly into Adidas’ plans to become a socially responsible and sustainable company.

Adidas’ six strategic priorities for ‘Sport needs a space’ -

pasted image 0 (1).png

4. Creative Strategy Analysis -


4.1 Business/Marketing Objectives

In the Pacific Ocean, there is an estimate of 80,000 tons of plastic pollution today (Lebreton et al.. 2018). Having the ambition to be a sustainable company, Adidas has partnered with Parley For The Oceans to market for social change by raising awareness about the dire situation of the deep, blue seas, and to promote its conservation. 


As a for-profit company, adidas’ business objective is to build their business around using more sustainable materials across their product range. Adidas transforms ocean plastic waste into thread that is woven into running shoes. 


By participating in corporate social responsibility (CSR) — saving the oceans, Adidas is enhancing the company’s brand and reputation. This allows Adidas to be an enabler for consumers to play a part in sustainable efforts through purchasing Parley products released by Adidas. 


4.2 Target Audience

Some of Adidas’ most age-specific outreach efforts include an Instagram contest and featuring influential athletes as product ambassadors. From their advertising efforts, it seems that Adidas x Parley shoes target the millennials and Generation Z consumers.


The campaign held an Instagram contest in 2016 where participants had to submit a video of their involvement in saving the oceans. 50 winners were announced and they won a pair of Adidas x Parley shoes, which were the world’s first at that point of time. A staggering 71% of all instagram users fall within the age range of 13-34, which suggests that this contest was geared towards the younger consumers.


Also, Adidas featured Marc Ter Stegen, Wayde van Niekerk, and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, all of whom have accomplished sporting histories and a large following from the younger generation. By using these icons as brand ambassadors, Adidas x Parley penetrates deeply into the community of young athletes.


A Nielsen report found that millennials are most willing to pay for sustainable goods and services. Additionally, compared to the average shopper, millenials are 20% more likely to consider purchasing socially-responsible and environmentally-friendly products or services.

4.3 Insights of Target Audience

66% of respondents to a Nielsen survey indicated that they are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, an increase from 55% in 2014 and 50% in 2013. This suggests that more emphasis should be placed on sustainability in marketing goods and services in today’s context. Furthermore, in the same survey, we observe that 62% of consumers expressed that brand trust is the most important factor that influences purchasing. Adidas x Parley could be leveraging on a theme of sustainability to win over brand trust, which then converts into sales units.


Gen Z consumers spend significant amounts of time online, but are still the hardest to reach online. Approximately 9% of digital media impressions hit the mark with the Gen Z population. This statistic can be attributed to the fact that Gen Z consumers have been growing up with online entertainment media at their fingertips, which suggests it will be harder to catch their attention through online means.

4.4 Communication Objective

The communication objective of Adidas x Parley campaign is to create awareness of ocean pollution and to influence and shape the attitudes consumers have regarding ocean conservation. Through working with Parley and by up-cycling of ocean plastic, Adidas aims to promote their brand image and ultimately enhancing their product sales. 


Adidas’ Perspective

The managing director of Adidas Outdoor, Greg Thomsen, recognises that Adidas is a global brand and that they “have the power to make a difference and consumers are energized by this.” For Adidas, they focus on becoming the enabler for consumers to play a part and making a change for the better good of the environment. 


Parley’s Perspective

Founder of Parley For The Oceans, Cyrill Gutsch acknowledges that in recent years, the widespread of activist groups have brought about enough awareness of the dire situations globally with regards to the environment. He believes that it is time to translate the awareness and “taking action and implementing strategies that can end the cycle of plastic pollution for good.” 



4.5 The big idea

Adidas’ big idea is to leverage on a ‘green bandwagon’ by providing a convenient method for consumers to jump on this trend. Through the sales of thematically designed shoes and the act of running, Adidas gives consumers a simple platform to be part of an environmental cause. Simplicity is key; it is easier to alter consumers’ behavior by making it convenient for them to adopt a new habit, such as to introduce subtle changes to their existing lifestyles. 

Adidas, a brand well known for its successful collaborations with other brands, is the number one fashion brand among the the target audience of millenials. Thus, it is not surprising that the company is enticing millenials to join this bandwagon by collaborating with Parley to sell these specially designed shoes with a twist. Furthermore, an increasing number of organisations have been jumping on the green bandwagon through sports. Sports has the ability to reach billions of people and is non-political, which is why it is an effective way to promote a green mindset, says Allen Hershkowitz, the president of Green Sports Alliance. This explains Adidas’ collaboration with various football clubs, as well as its Run For The Oceans events, which aims to spread the green bandwagon through sports.

4.6 & 4.7 Creative Execution and IMC Tools used

Since 2015, Adidas has launched various limited edition shoes like the FW18 Ultraboost Parley shoe, made using the tread generated from the plastic collected. These shoes reflect ocean colors and motifs. In 2017, they pledged to make 1 million shoes from Parley Ocean Plastic.


The production process of Adidas Ultraboost shoes from ocean plastic -


To bring this campaign to life, Adidas co created a crystal clear campaign with the help of TBWA/NEBOKO. They also partnered with New York based Psyop and Golden Wolf and created a unique stop motion YouTube advertisement to tell the story of the creation of the UltraBoost Parley shoes through animated embroidery. This ad also reflects Adidas’s brand values of agility and style, combined with motivating music and uses a combination of social and brand appeals.

A still from the stop motion animated advertisement - 


This campaign also runs across social media, print and in-store and is supported by global PR event Run For The Oceans. Adidas and Parley partnered with fitness applications like Runtastic and Joyrun which helped runners measure and contribute kilometers to this cause. Adidas pledged to donate USD 1$ for every kilometer run.

More than 150 participants from the Runners Singapore community participated in a 5km run at East Coast Park on the 9th of June, 2018 -


They also heavily made use of digital marketing and promoted the campaign through various social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They built on the concept of street credibility and got celebrities like Cristiano Ronaldo, HRH the Prince of Wales and NBA stars to challenge the youth to run for the oceans and post videos. Adidas also involved various sports clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid to increase millennial participation. Run For The Oceans was also promoted by the President of the General Assembly at the United Nations.

Print ads of the new Adidas Parley kits for FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid -


Adidas launched limited edition shoes and used them as giveaways to participants of contests and runs. An example would be a video contest on Instagram, where creators of 50 most inspiring videos will win world’s first adidas x parley shoes, and join the movement as a ambassador. ( They built demand for their premium products and used sales promotion techniques like incentives to promote participation.

The eco friendly Ultraboost shoes have won various awards in the past two years for their their unique packaging design -


4.8 PESO and TAPS Models

PESO Model -

  • Paid Media

    • Print & Video Advertisements: For UltraBoost Parley in 2018 and Run For The Oceans

  • Earned Media

    • Media Relations: During the launch of a new Adidas x Parley product line, the news gets covered by both business news organizations focusing on the ocean conservation aspect of the campaign, and sports news organizations focusing on the details of the products. 

  • Shared Media

    • Social media: Instagram page posts and reposts images from users with bite-sized captions containing information about ocean conservation, ocean animals, and news relating to the state of the oceans. 

  • Owned Media

    • User-generated content: Through a Instagram contest where winners can earn a World-first Parley shoe, users had to create a video statement to inspire others to join the Parley movement, generating content for the campaign. 

    • Brand Ambassadors: Winners of the Instagram contest become ambassadors of the Parley movement, and collaborations with influential sports figures such as Manchester United 

TAPS Model - 

  • Types of Marketing  

  • Audience 

  • Problem/Perception 

  • Solution/Strategy


5. Proposed Creative Strategy -

5.1 Marketing Objective

Following the original Run For The Oceans, we aim to bring about increase awareness for ocean conservation, #ForOurOceans will leverage on the original success by increasing the outreach and upscaling the whole campaign. We aim to translate this awareness into practical actions taken by the consumers of Adidas and the general public as part of conserving the ocean. Ultimately, we hope that there would be a reduction in the use of plastic. 

5.2 Target Audience

#ForOurOceans will re-target the younger consumers in an effort to promote greater participation. Section 5.6 and 5.7 covers how we intend to adapt Adidas’ approach to achieve this effect.


Also, we aim to expand the scope to consumers of all ages. #ForOurOceans celebrates and encourages eco-friendly lifestyles and consuming habits. Section 5.6 and 5.7 details how we incorporate the working class and older generations into the campaign scope.

5.3 Insights From Past Reports

According to Millennials Ocean Plastic Research by Packard, lifestyle solutions for oceanic issues are the top priority, dominating over supporting the work of conservation groups. Millennials also exhibit willingness to contribute financially and desire to learn more about ocean conservation. This suggests that the Adidas x Parley approach can be improved by making efforts to actively involve consumers in the ocean conservation process. Another Packard report on American millennials support this proposition - they found that millennials “prefer and place value in people action over institutional action”. Furthermore, Daniela Fernandez, founder of Sustainable Oceans Alliance, noted that key to involving millennials is to give them the autonomy to explore how they can be involved in the process.


Furthermore, the Packard report on American millennials also mentioned that millennials are more interested in animal welfare than environmental issues. This information prompted us to approach the issue from the perspective of marine animals. Section 5.6 and 5.7 outlines how we tap into interactive media to promote awareness of ocean plastic through the lens of marine animals.


5.4 Communication Objective

The communication objective for our proposed campaign is to bring about the pressing issue of ocean conservation and to push the idea that conserving the ocean is everyone’s responsibility. This responsibility is empowered by Adidas and Parley by making it easier and more accessible for people to make a change. This allows Adidas and Parley to gain heart share and spirit share with people today who are seeking to make a change in the world.

5.5 Big Idea

Our proposed big idea is to utilise the power of hashtags to spread the message that everyone has a part to play in ocean conservation. We believe that the ocean is a common resource shared by people all over the world and thus everyone has a stake in protecting the ocean. Similarly, hashtags are meant to be shared on social media, and it is easily understood by people everywhere, transcending language and geographical barriers. Thus, we decided on For Our Oceans to remind people that they all have a part to play and their little actions can have a much bigger impact on ocean conservation. 

Hashtags have been increasingly popular on social media and it helps to elevate a company’s social media presence. A study found that Tweets with hashtags garner double the engagement, while Instagram posts with hashtags generally has 70% more likes than those without. Many other companies also use hashtags to make their campaigns more memorable, such as Red Bull’s #GivesYouWings hashtag that became very popular worldwide.

Hence, Adidas x Parley will roll out a series of new campaigns and interactive platforms that harness the power of hashtags. The aim is to create more earned media by allowing consumers to share their experiences of #ForOurOceans online, and influencing their friends and followers to join this green bandwagon.


5.6 and 5.7 Creative Execution and IMC Tools used

We propose a campaign called #ForOurOceans consisting of four main parts. This campaign follows Parley’s beliefs and ideology, which aims to transform plastic from a threat to thread and we aim to expand our target audience from mainly millennials to the working class and children. Through #ForOurOceans, we plan to educate the public about plastic pollution and motivate them to take action using “Avoid, Intercept and Redesign”as our guidelines. We propose to execute this campaign mainly by incorporating different IMC tools like Advertising, Social and Digital Marketing, Public Relations and Support media.

imc tools.JPG

Advertising -

Awareness and education about ocean conservation will be incorporated by a series of 5-8 short ads based on the concept “Imagine the Difference”, which will be reflective in nature. These ads will be uploaded on YouTube and used as TV commercial. They will also be used as support media at cinemas and inflight entertainment. The same will be converted into print ads and will be put up at bus stops, MRTs, schools etc. Some of our ideas for the ad series are as follows: 




Importance of simple life experiences for children, like fishing.



A short trailer of Finding Nemo, where  Nemo and Dory fight for life in a garbage filled ocean.



Getting people to think about how the ocean is a major source of food and other resources, and what effect plastic will have on it.

WhatsApp Image 2018-11-09 at


To be played in theaters - if Titanic was to be remade in 2018, this is what it might look like. 


Interactive Marketing -

Players will have a digital personal pet (eg. sea turtle, dolphin, whale) to take care of. This creates an emotion link where players feel personally liable for the ownership of their pet, the same way we would want them to eventually take ownership of ocean conservation.

Players will be able to earn in-game credits by donating their plastic waste to Adidas stores. With in-game credits, players can buy food or items at the festival. In addition, the game will serve as a platform for players to contribute to world-wide water-related disasters. During the occurrence of a water-related disaster, the players will be notified via the app. Players can then choose to donate their in-game credits to the cause, and Adidas in turn will donate US$1 per each in-game credit. This promotes a sense of community amongst players not only in the digital world, but in the real world as well.


Support Media -

Water dispensers

In order to reach the general public, we will install water dispensers in public places like sports facilities, MRTs, malls, schools etc. In order to activate this water dispenser, one has to exchange plastic waste like bags, bottles etc.



Expanding on the live running events Run For The Oceans, we plan to hold a festival alongside the event, featuring food, game, and education booths to cater to a wider audience. Through sponsorship and collaboration, we plan to organize a few of the following activities as a part of the event.


Proposed location: Sentosa

Dates: March 2019, World Water Month

  • A short marathon to commemorate World Water Day.

  • Fringe Activities like photo booths, art and craft and virtual reality gaming.

  • Live Music by collaborating with famous bands to increase participation

  • Door Gift Booth by collaborating with local artists to promote the use of eco friendly alternatives

  • Interactive billboards with credit card readers installed in them. These small sized billboards will be placed at various locations at the venue and will revolutionize the art of giving. When someone swipes for a donation of 1$, they will see the oceans clearing up. 

  • Game Booths where players of #ForTheOceans game app can showcase their pets through VR to others at the event, where the best kept pet wins a special prize.

  • Education Booths by potential collaborations with Parley, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery channel.

  • Design Your Own Adidas x Parley Shoes, where the participants get to experience the joy of creating miniature biodegradable shoes.

  • Food Booths by getting sponsorship from local and global eateries. To avoid generating plastic waste, we will collaborate with companies like LetsGoGreen (USA), Bakey’s Edible Cutlery (India) to bring in biodegradable utensils for the festival.



Pledge #ForOurOceans: We aim to start a trend on Instagram to increase initial awareness of our campaign. Drawing inspiration from the #TogetherforWildlife ‘upside-down picture’ campaign, social media users will be encouraged to post bluish versions of pictures of themselves with a pledge about their commitment to ocean conservation along with the hashtag #ForOurOceans. 

pasted image 0 (2).png

Users pledging their commitment to ocean conservation by posting a bluish picture on Instagram, similar to the successful #TogetherforWildlife campaign in early 2018.

6. Presentation Slides -