The Futurecraft is finally ready for launch and my favorite advertising company masquerading as a sportswear company has dropped a notch lower on my list as my favorite. Let me explain… a year ago my excitement was at an all time high. adidas UltraBOOST and NMD were rolling to amazing sales, adidas was on the rise and then they introduced their 3D shoe and Speedfactory concept and I thought, “adidas is really coming for the top dog!!! Throughout the year there was a sprinkling of information here and there about Carbon and 4D, but the marketing machine that reignited interest in the Three Stripes failed to really do any build up beyond the articles on news sites about the project.
It’s very similar to how Under Armour rolled out their Architech Futurist 3D shoe. That shoe is still available on the Under Armour site. It also retails for 300 like this adidas model. adidas is making sure in its discussion they are stressing that this is a running shoe capable of handling the pressure of training. adidas is talking performance for a shoe that is clearly designed to spark excitement in the brand using tech that doesn’t look like tech. With so many other sites dropping information about the release I think it’s important to take a look at what the Three Stripes didn’t do to build the narrative moving towards the release. There isn’t a single video on this project on the YouTube running station. There aren’t any videos detailing the design and construction of the shoe. The video below ran last year in April, but there hasn’t been a reintroduction to the video. They didn’t break the video down into segments to create a longer narrative.
The site is up, but it isn’t attached to the homepage in anyway: http://www.adidas.com/us/futurecraft and all of these things feel counter to how adidas has been doing storytelling. While blogs and news sites appear to be sharing this like they are excited, I’m sharing this because I have a feeling that the release is going to fall flat if it is the 100,000 pair as they said they would produce. (the stockists seems to be another limited release) Remember last year they made 300 pair. This is supposed to be a GR release. If you visit Under Armour you will note that the Futurist barely has broken sizes. Yeah, I know that it’s Under Armour and that the adidas shoe appears to be much more functional, but UA with their 3D shoe used a limited launch via Concepts and even threw in Tom Brady and their model still hasn’t sold out.
adidas has done something that makes me a bit nervous. They are showing some rust with I think may be a failed rollout of an adventurous, inherently exciting product. If this doesn’t go well, the reason will be obvious: adidas has officially bought into their own hype and they are releasing product like a brand that is on cruise control. They don’t even have the link to the Futurecraft web page on their site on the source article. They didn’t even include the video above on the page. They haven’t updated the photos since the first images. There isn’t any packaging, or discussions on how the box will look. The biggest issue… that would have allowed a piggyback on the successful Parley campaign, adidas talked performance in the source article and not sustainability. Even Nike has been touting Flyleather and how they are reducing their carbon footprint. This feels unlike the adidas of 2016 and 2017. It feels like a brand that’s made it back to relevance and that’s not a good thing.