Abiding by the rituals, it’s that time of the year to go gaga over the India Premier League, tapping on to the abundance of affection India holds for the sport. As brands of varied genres are hopping on to the bandwagon of the buzzword IPL, Adidas is embracing it with campaign #III

Cricket hashtag revolution

Populated with content, in the social media world hashtags work as the maps to guide you through your desirable content, thus banking on that factor the brand attempted to bring all the cricketing conversation under one hashtag, #III

The campaign released on social media with a teaser post that established #III. As we mentioned, with brands, organisations and people talking of cricket it’s obvious to have if not millions, hundreds of hashtags floating around and just to funnel conversation on social media the brand established cricket in three characters #III

The thought was to create cricket’s shortest hashtag and making #III synonymous to cricket. This idea seemed interesting because the hashtag did not only reflected the three stumps of the game but was also the brand’s sly or rather a witty attempt to visually represent the three striped logo of Adidas through the hashtag.

Speaking of the objective of the campaign, Dhanashree Sowani, Director – Heart Beat Sports & Outdoor shared, “We wanted to continue to have a meaningful and relevant brand voice starting with the T20 cricket season. The #III campaign brings together the leading adidas cricket athletes through a unique way on social media where most of today’s generation consumes and shares information. The primary objective of the campaign is to showcase the continued commitment of brand adidas to the sport of cricket through its athletes.”

Crickets Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Rishab Pant became the face of the campaign, representing every ‘I’ of the #III. As an extension to the campaign, these three players came out as cricket’s first ever 3D superhero squad.

The faces of this campaign will bring in the entertainment factor on the field through their performances and clutch on to it even off field with fictional story-telling around the game. Through this campaign, these crickets will live the two worlds of fanatical cricketers and fantastic superheroes.

“The two most important parts of the campaign are the hashtag “#III” itself and the superhero avatars of Rohit, KL and Rishabh. #III is unique in a number of ways– not only does it visually represent the three stumps of cricket, it also saves up character space for cricket conversations on social platforms. Apart from this it also has a relevant brand connect as it resonates with adidas’ trademark three stripes. As for the superheroes, we wanted to challenge the norm and explore entertaining audiences in a very unique way. We felt it was the right time to showcase Rohit, KL and Rishabh as the explosive players and entertainers that they are. What better than their superhero avatars to showcase their super abilities,” Sowani expressed her views of the key highlights of the campaign.

Keeping the world entertained through social media, these superheros will continue to keep the audience engaged through GIFs and illustrations during the match and otherwise.

“Although cricket fans in India come from all demographics, we would particularly like to connect with younger fans in the age group of 14-25. These are school and college going kids who are inspired by leading sportsmen and look to replicate them while playing their favorite sport. We hope, an opportunity to see their favorite cricketers in superhero avatars would really excite them. As a brand, if we can inspire the lives of a handful of these youngsters to being a better version of themselves on the sports-field or otherwise, we would have achieved our objective,” shared Sowani when asked about their target audience.

The digital buzz

Revolving their campaign around the significance of hashtag primarily and keeping the entertainment quotient alive, secondarily became the two distinct characteristics of the campaign. Comprehending how hashtag marketing can boost impressions, making content more searchable and catching the attention of viewers, Adidas played around this idea to resonate their name with cricket.

Initiating this thought, the brand introduced the hashtag through a special teaser which received 127k views, 1.3k reactions and even received 125 shares.

Elaborating on the brief given to the agency, Sowani shared, “Adidas, as a leading sports brand, looks to change the lives of people through the power of sport. In this case also, the brief was to bring together the adidas cricket athlete portfolio to inspire the next generation of cricketers and cricket fans through a digitally-led multi-platform campaign while being creative on the social media front.”

Speaking to the brand we also got familiar to the entire concept and the following phases as the campaign was launched with the #III video which explained why short hashtags were relevant to the game of cricket which itself is getting shorter. This was followed by the introduction of the superheroes who motivate everyone through their powers of inspiring, imagining and innovating.

Further, the animated film that follows will bring together the three superheroes on one stage – the brand was particularly excited by the prospects of the film hoping that the creative techniques of 3D, jib-jab, etc. in it excites the audiences.

The brand created a individual marketing strategy for Instagram, making the campaign more visually aesthetic and keeping the communication separate and thoroughly appealing.

Adidas
Adidas Instagram

The real success of the #III is to have it as part of any cricket conversation on social media going forward. Adidas would love to see people understand the idea behind #III and how it means so much in so less. Going forward, the brand shall have another leg to the campaign in the 2nd half of the year and this shall again be led by their social media handles.

Sowani shared the marketing mix with Social Samosa saying, “We like to create stories that inspire athletes from all walks of life. With the #III campaign, the idea is to put forward our voice on cricket through the three stripes. The key objective is also to drive brand adidas’ connect with the cricket fan in the country while leveraging the fan-base of our marquee athletes. The focus would be on cities playing the domestic T20 league, especially Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai as each of our athletes represent one of the three teams. The campaign will be hosted on the social media handles of adidas cricket and will be leveraged through the social handles of our athletes.”

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