Responses by Thomas Jullien, creative director, Andrew Maaldrink, senior copywriter, Benjamin de Villiers, senior art director and Tomas Pruijs, business director, TBWA\NEBOKO
Background: The purpose of the Run for the Oceans project is to raise awareness for marine plastic pollution by getting people to join a global movement to run for the oceans. When you run in adidas UltraBoost Parley shoes, you create energy for the ocean. The Primeknit upper of the UltraBOOST Parley is made of plastic waste collected from beaches, preventing approximately eleven plastic bottles from entering the oceans.
Reasoning: We wanted to leverage the adidas runners’ communities and work with them to invite people to join the movement. To grab the attention of our global audience, we needed a striking piece of work that visually communicates our main message: these high-performance running shoes prevent plastic waste from polluting the oceans. And that’s how the Primeknit became the canvas for both the print ads and the animation.
Challenges: The complexity of the embroidery meant that we had to lockdown the storyboard at a very early stage to make the deadline. The same went for all of the next steps. From sketching to building, everything had to be timed out. Meanwhile Psyop scanned the Primeknit upper and captured the textures of the Parley thread. In the end, all the effort paid off; the result is stunning.
Favorite details: The process and the collaboration between everyone that took part in this project. Our message was strong, and the results were overwhelming—in one month, more than twelve million km (7456454.31 mi) were run and almost one million runners joined the movement.
Specific demands: As part of the brief, we had to visually incorporate the eleven bottles into the creative executions. Given the technique we’ve applied, this became a bit of a challenge, as we needed to ensure the message would come across clearly to our audience. In the end, this made the executions and the overall story stronger.
Anything new: Everyone who touched the project, from account to production, is now a lot more conscious about virgin plastic. We now all use refillable drinking bottles, we shop differently and we all spread the message to friends and clients alike.