A$AP Mob member Ferg’s recent connection with adidas does something that we seldom see in footwear and apparel and influencers: the promotion of fitness as a lifestyle. It’s common place to see athletes in random pictures maybe participating in a sport or working out, but that type of organic imagery is not transitioned into campaigns. (Organic is used here in the descriptive fashion… it’s clear in the picture that Ferg’ stride is big because he hasn’t run very far, lol.) Most marketing features the artist in a static picture posing; there is some of that in this layout with Ferg:
This campaign by adidas though is about how Ferg is working with his trainer to become a runner. It’s an important aspect particularly in the US where obesity is a serious issue. It’s an issue that has also affected performance footwear sales. Inactivity in young people and adults, sedentary lifestyles, have created a rise in childhood diabetes and a host of other issues for adults. The shift in the marketing concept for brands is a much needed trend and while influencers that are gym rats are nice, adidas has followed ASICS in showing entertainers as more than just the static, posing face of a brand. ASICS last week introduced DJ Steve Aoki in a series of pictures showing the high profile turntablist cross training in their #IMOVEME campaign:
From a marketing standpoint it is becoming more apparent that athletes are failing to drive engagement as it relates to footwear. Basketball sales are down. I’ve stated that athletes are going to have to become more relatable and approachable to sell shoes. I discussed this in:
The problem is athletes are notoriously private people. Entertainers tend to be more social which allows them to reach a more diverse consumer. The campaigns for adidas and ASICS are important for more than footwear sales. The ads and promo reach an audience that needs to move more. Jobs are not as physical anymore. Most people sit at a desk to complete their jobs. When they finish work they stay attached to their phones. More than likely they are listening to a playlist curated by Aoki or Ferg and if the imagery of these performers working out becomes more consistent, maybe, just maybe a more active lifestyle becomes the norm.