Planning effective marketing strategies for a target audience
An adidas case study

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Page 4: Promotion

All elements of the marketing mix are important. However, in increasingly competitive markets innovative methods of promotion can create a competitive advantage. Promotional activity is used to communicate with consumers about the brand and its products. As there were more than 50 London 2012 sponsors, adidas needed to ensure it communicated the right messages, at the right time, through the appropriate channels for its target audience. It aimed to create national support for Team GB through its ‘Take the Stage’ campaign.

The acronym AIDA is useful when planning promotional activity, promotion should aim to:

  • initiate awareness amongst consumers
  • generate interest for and desire to have the product
  • ensure action to purchase.

Above-the-line promotion

Adidas 18 Image 4There are many different methods of promotion. Above-the-line promotion refers to traditional methods of advertising, such as, print adverts in magazines and newspapers, billboards or online and TV advertisements. This form of promotion is expensive. As mass audiences become harder to reach through advertising, for example, an increasing number of people record TV and fast-forward the adverts, innovative methods of below-the-line activity is becoming increasingly important to engage the audience.

Above-the-line activity for adidas’ campaign included TV adverts that showcased the best UK talent across sport, street and style. The adverts contained carefully planned product placement. Amongst those featured were David Beckham, Wretch 32 and Derrick Rose. In addition to a significant outdoor media spend, adidas featured artist impressions of athletes on 17 London Metro front pages.

TV adverts featuring athletes such as Jessica Ennis and Tom Daley were used to rally support for Team GB. In these adverts athletes shared their intimate goals, fears and thoughts, something which was dramatically different to other sponsors of London 2012.

Below-the-line promotion

In contrast, below-the-line promotion aims to reach more targeted groups of consumers. For example, through sponsorship deals, direct marketing, public relations and social media. Below-the-line promotion targeted at the youth audience was a key method for adidas to achieve its marketing objectives. It used a wide range of promotional activities to create deeper engagement with its audience, mixing traditional media with an innovative use of social and digital channels. The scale of the activation of this campaign was an industry first.

Its TV adverts aimed to drive consumers to a website where they could demonstrate their talents for a chance to meet their idols. Through ‘Project 32’, adidas had already rewarded 32 talented youngsters in London with the chance to meet leaders in their chosen fields, such as the sporting and musical industry, giving undiscovered talent the chance to ‘Take the Stage’.

Adidas 18 Image 2Social media played an integral part in adidas’ campaign. For example, on Twitter #takethestage became the summer trend for supporting Team GB. Videos on YouTube created hundreds of millions of views, including a video of Team GB athletes singing along to Queen’s ‘Don’t stop me now’. In addition, a large photo booth was set up at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford. Members of the public then entered the booth to show support for Team GB. Videos of peoples’ reactions to David Beckham making a surprise appearance received 3.2 million views, as well as international TV coverage.

adidas | Planning effective marketing strategies for a target audience