During the Team GB kitting-out event in Loughborough earlier this month, kit supplier adidas provided a photo booth with fun props and backdrops, allowing athletes to pose for pictures both individually and in groups. The snaps were printed on adidas-branded passport photo-style paper and sold into the media, with great pick-up across national press and online. This delivered some fantastic exposure for adidas and the kitting-out event, but it was also (or at least it seemed) lots of fun for the athletes, and provided a relatively rare opportunity for fans to catch a glimpse of the less serious side of Team GB.
Why we love it
The adidas photo booth has won significant acclaim, and rightly so. Adidas has been encouraging fans to #takethestage with its Olympic campaign, and this tactic put the athletes on the stage, but in a really original way. It brought to life the kitting-out session for consumers – a feat not to be underestimated given that the event really just consisted of athletes picking up their kit. Media time was available with athletes, but the creation of the photo booth meant that journalists focused on the kitting-out ceremony itself in their interviews, with more than just the requisite credit line.
The photo booth allowed athletes to choreograph their own photography, normally dictated to them by media managers, thereby allowing fans to see more of the person behind the athlete. The delivery of such original content secured media cut-through for adidas in the clutter of the Games time, and showcased the brand’s relationship with Team GB in striking contrast to some of the more stage-managed athlete content evident elsewhere pre-Games.
The success of the photography may well encourage even more brands to experiment with this sort of “talent-generated content”, such as video blogs and other creative photography, when the tone and messaging of the campaign is right. Entertaining and original photo content can clear space for brands when it would have otherwise been tight.
We also love this tactic because it can be deployed across a range of channels; adidas could install the photo booth anywhere so that customers could use it at a festival or big exhibition. I can certainly vouch for the fact that the Synergists loved the (Engine-branded) photo booth at the Engine Christmas Party!
As such, I wasnt surprised to see adidas extending the activity into the public space with David Beckham surprising customers in the adidas photo booth at Westfield Stratford City – the related viral has already had over 2.7 million views.
Fans gasped and burst into tears when their football hero was revealed hiding in a secret compartment, and the stunt once again generated significant exposure for adidas in a congested media environment just two days before the start of the Olympics. Adidas has found its white space in this sort of fun and irreverent activity, and to very great effect.
By Jessica Enoch on July 30th, 2012