The elite and iconic Predator is back, and they’re back due to a return to form on the design front, but also advertising that has been top bins.
If you asked anyone who watches at least a bit of football which boots David Beckham was wearing when he curled that freekick in against Greece to take England to the 2002 World Cup, they’d know.
Adidas Predator boots are elite and iconic.
More recent editions haven’t had quite the pull of those early-2000s versions, to put it mildly. But the Predator is back, and they’re back due to a return to form on the design front, but also advertising that has been top bins. As is often the case for Adidas, the evidence is here.
This campaign has been everywhere and delivered in so many forms. The key to the delivery has been making players the stars, but they’re not always kicking a ball.
The overall concept is the fact Predators lead to gooooooooaaaaaaaaals.
They’ve been developed by ‘scientists’ who have tried to keep it under wraps, but word is out.
Joelinton making ends meet with some shifts at the Adidas GOOAAAAL-mart pic.twitter.com/p1zIbO80wP— 𝙆𝙚𝙩𝙘𝙝 ⚽️💻🎙📻 (@ketchell) January 22, 2024
Once the boots are secured, the goals rain down.
You’ve got Jude Bellingham stealing the boots from a research lab. Alessia Russo and Gabriel Jesus doing a Mission Impossible-style job on a secure van, whilst being spied on by Ian Wright.
What’s interesting is that instead of just putting all their top players together, they’ve kept the players and clubs together – Gabriel Jesus appearing with Arsenal player Alessia Russo rather than players from other teams, as is traditional in Adidas and Nike football advertising.
The Arsenal video was also added to with the very first Predator boots being the consumer launch with Pro:Direct Soccer teaming up with Jurrien Timber to give away the new boots for just £19.94. Another great touchpoint within this campaign.
But what makes Adidas’ approach this time around even better is that focus on clubs.
I’ll sum it up through a personal black and white striped lens, as a Newcastle fan.
Adidas signing up to be Newcastle United’s kit manufacturer was met with huge excitement—the kind of excitement a non-Newcastle fan might find a bit strange. But after years in the doldrums and with enough tears to fill a Sports Direct-sized mug, that announcement became another source of hope, a return to the days of Keegan’s team and the iconic Adidas kits of the time.
And so, with the Predator campaign came the first opportunity for Adidas to get behind that partnership in earnest. And it really did.
Again, challenging the status quo in football boot advertising, this isn’t just about global superstars.
We’ve got a Newcastle United cast that includes Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and Joelinton, all top players, but also Lewis Miley, the 17-year old in his rookie season, to borrow a term from the US.
They’re all fan favourites, and even though the videos might not appeal to fans across the world, they have real cut-through with Newcastle fans, and there are a fair few of us around the North East, UK and beyond.
The content is simple, but entertaining, mimicking the various ways fans might get hold of boots in shops, with that goooooaaaaals line being central to each.
It’s how football advertising should be.
Football is tribal so much of the time, I’m not seeking out content with Messi for example, but if it’s got a Newcastle connection you know it’ll be hitting my feeds and WhatsApp within minutes. To see your 17-year old prospect with just a dozen or so appearances under his belt in a big brand’s campaign makes it feel like they really get it.
Bring on Adidas’ 24/25 Newcastle United kits (and the advertising that surrounds them).
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