Responses by Nick Larkin, management supervisor, Opinionated
Background: adidas Originals have been at the front lines of pop culture for the better part of the last century. To celebrate the brand’s 70th anniversary, we wanted to bring to life some of our most notable crossovers between sports and culture. With an “ultimate unboxing,” we’re able to educate today’s young consumers on the soul and depth contained in each Originals shoebox.
Reasoning: The idea came from the sneakerhead video unboxing and the shoebox dioramas that we used to make in grade school. We created a mini-world inside the famous Originals shoebox that feels like an infinite space, with key historic moments of the brand’s last 70 years woven throughout. We also took an “Easter egg” approach, allowing audiences to connect the dots on references, whether it’s Crazy Legs and the B-Boys, Stella McCartney designing with Stan Smith or Run-DMC famously asking the concert crowd to hold their adidas Superstars high in the air.
Challenges: The whole thirty-second spot was a giant, intricate puzzle. Before assembling, we needed to know what we could and couldn’t license. Since we needed the camera to move through what appears to be a single diorama, we built an animatic. From there, we worked with HouseSpecial to construct each eight-by-eight-feet diorama set. We then used the “no-mation” technique to move through a seemingly frozen world by stitching together thousands of individual frames rather than a traditional motion shot. We also created aspects of movement, like the smoke through Stan Smith’s opponent’s racket.
Favorite details: There is so much depth in each of these scenes and viewers can go back to find elements they didn’t notice before. This was important because everyone has a personal recollection to some of the moments we highlighted. You can also find little hints and elements of what’s coming in the next “scene.” We were incredibly vigilant to get the historic details right, no matter how small.
Time constraints: Everything was prepped in roughly one month—licensing, animatic reference and set design. It took multiple parties getting on board, from Run-DMC down to the original founder of the American Basketball Association. Pro-skater Nora Vasconcellos was so excited that she cleared the rights and provided references immediately. With incredible diligence at each end, we paid proper homage, and ensured that we were covering a wide range of categories in sports and subculture. If given the time, we would uncover even more.
Anything new: Due to the speed and the depth of the diorama, we were initially hung up on making sure the Easter eggs were clear for the viewers. Once we began to pull together the pieces, we recognized the beauty in allowing viewers to make conclusions on their own. What came out of that was an experience both rewarding creatively and for the viewer’s detailed eye.