Case Study: How adidas reached 7.6 mn users through Instagram Reels for #OpenForum

Social Samosa
Aug 24, 2021 10:49 IST
adidas Open Forum

In July 2021, adidas Originals unveiled their campaign for the season titled #OpenForum, celebrating the revival of the classic basketball shoe –‘Forum’ in a new avatar as well as celebrated creators who effortlessly embrace a new world of unknowns through an Instagram Reels campaign.

The #OpenForum campaign was launched by adidas Originals with a creative strategy undertaken with creators on Instagram to lead the campaign narrative through content that was pushed on Instagram Reels, driving popular appeal, visibility, and recall for the newly launched sneaker styles. The case study further analyses the campaign output, execution, and results.

Category Introduction

India is the second-largest footwear market after China, with a value of over $10 billion in 2019, set to grow to $15.5 billion by 2024. Over the past decade, the Indian consumer has been breaking the myth of ‘sports-inspired shoes/sneakers’ being limited to a lifestyle choice for a particular section of society. Today sneakers/sports-inspired shoes are not mere footwear, but a legitimate fashionable statement piece.

Over the last few years, sneaker culture in the country has expanded beyond just products and has become a lifestyle that manifests itself via music, culture, art, etc. Local communities celebrating and growing the culture have played a vital role in propagating this culture at the grassroots. Sneakers are a part of mainstream fashion now with the biggest celebrities flaunting their kicks.

Brand Introduction

adidas Originals is a lifestyle brand founded in 2001. With the adidas archive at its foundation, adidas Originals continues to evolve the brand’s legacy through its commitment to product innovation and its ability to filter the creativity and courage found on courts and sporting arenas through the lens of contemporary youth culture. Marked by the iconic Trefoil logo that was first used in 1972 and championed by those that continue to shape and define creative culture, adidas Originals continues to lead the way as the pioneering sportswear brand for the street.

With the campaign, the objective was to curate a social media experience that is more interactive and engaging, while inspiring consumers to see ‘what’s next’ through dynamic visual content created by a diverse set of creators.

Summary - #OpenForum

The brand kicked off Fall-Winter 2021 season with the launch of their new campaign #OpenForum that featured the revival of the classic basketball shoe–‘Forum’ in a reimagined avatar.

In the decades since the Forum first debuted on the court, these adidas sneakers have played an integral part in shaping culture as a bonafide style icon. With its roots in basketball, today the silhouette represents an open invitation for aesthetic self-expression — standing out on the feet of artists, musicians, designers, grassroots community organizers, and beyond.

Inspired by the fervent spirit of open-minded experimentation, the seasonal Forum campaign celebrated the cultural leaders who are redefining the style of tomorrow, while encouraging a new generation to embrace an open attitude.

Problem Statement/Objective

Through this campaign, the brand aimed to bring together diverse audiences and drive impetus to a fast-growing and already strong sneaker community with the FORUM sneaker leading the narrative:

  • Shine the spotlight on FORUM
  • Drive product heat to build FORUM as the come-back of classic adidas sneakers with a basketball born silhouette while defining the unique category positioning of the brand.
    • Introduce & Establish the ‘OPEN FORUM’ narrative by engaging the coolest & most credible a pool talents to spearhead the campaign voice on Instagram


The key task in hand for the PR Agency (PR Pundit) was to introduce an archival basketball silhouette in an all-new street-style avatar while introducing #OpenForum – a celebration of those who turn an open mind into a way of life.

Creative Idea

Creative Insight:

The past year has witnessed the growing popularity of Instagram Reels, with millennials and Gen-Z audiences. Thus, harnessing the popularity & impact of Instagram Reels was the approach to create visually appealing and stirring content that drive product heat and lead the campaign story #OpenForum

Visual Storytelling & Content Output:

Social media has played an important role in bridging information gaps, while brands have ensured that Indian consumers get access to the best of global launches on the same day as consumers in other parts of the world.

An Instagram campaign was undertaken where 50+ creators from various creative fields were engaged to bring the campaign message to life and drive appeal for the launch of the new adidas sneakers through relevant storytelling.


Pre-launch: Onboarding the #OpenForum Crew

Content creators identified and encouraged to style their pair of gifted FORUM sneakers and shoot content in a way that best describes their authentic personality and showcase their unique styling sensibilities in the Forum. An ‘Open Forum’ that featured two-part Instagram Live sessions on the brand’s India Instagram account was set out to inspire the next generation through conversations by top creators.

Also Read: Case Study: How Netflix created 80% higher brand affinity through audio marketing on Spotify

Launch: Instagram content announcing the arrival of the Forums

All seeded creators initiated the tease a week prior to launch and went live with their visuals on the launch week that led to a high octane social media visibility and recall for the sneakers. All of the content output shot by the #OpenForum Creator Network was also reposted on the @adidasindia Instagram handle to ensure maximum visibility and impact.

Style-led posts by Yashwi Arora, Akshay Arora, Santanu Hazarika, Reels by Isha Bhansali, Tejasvi Patil & Pooja Mundhra. Actors & Gen-Z trendsetters styled to further elevate the positioning and amplify the campaign Manushi Chhillar, Shruti Haasan, Sanjana Sanghi.

An Open Forum Instagram Live conversation featuring creators like Nitya Arora (Jewellery Designer & Model), Param Sahib (Fashion Designer) & DJ Kan-I (Vinyl DJ) as they discussed how they stayed open in their career path, and how they chased inspiration when it hits them.


Created a repertoire of organic content on Instagram by popular creators, while ensuring the integration of uniform brand hashtags and credits. A social media plastering on Instagram created much anticipation on the sneaker and the brand.

The social media impact of #OpenForum led to a reach of 7.6+ million users with an Average Engagement Rate of 5.4% within the initial weeks of the launch.

The best content created was re-posted & re-shared by the @adidasIndia Instagram handle, witnessing an increase in followers by 10% during the launch week of the FORUMs