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  • Writer's pictureKayJay McDonald-Ferguson

Unlocking Marketing Success: Lessons from Adidas' All Blacks Partnership

In the world of marketing, trends are shifting as swiftly as the digital landscape evolves, and staying ahead of the curve has become an art form. Recently, I had the privilege of attending a keynote titled "The Value of Interesting: What Adidas' Partnership with the All Blacks Can Teach Us About How to Make Being Interesting Your Brand's Superpower," featuring Pete Bracegirdle. Hosted by Bristol Creative Industries, the event promised insights into the balance between seeking a competitive advantage in the new and staying true to the fundamental principles of marketing.

In an age where consumers are increasingly immune to traditional advertisements, the importance of being interesting cannot be overstated. Marketers are, at their core, in the business of capturing and maintaining attention. Pete Bracegirdle emphasised that to be interesting, one must be inherently creative. This leads us to a crucial question: How creative is your idea?

Start resisting best practice. - Peter Bracegirdle

The keynote challenged the consistent mindset of doing what is 'best practice.' Bracegirdle urged the audience to resist the pull of conformity as that leads to everything looking the same. It's time, he argued, to prioritise being different, as uniqueness inherently carries more interest.

One piece of advice shared during the talk was to approach idea generation as if there were no paid budget at all. Bracegirdle stated that imagining a scenario without financial constraints often leads to more innovative and daring ideas. This approach challenges marketers to think beyond the limitations of resources and focus on the core essence of what makes an idea interesting.

keynote presentation in a room of marketers and creatives

A highlight of the keynote was Bracegirdle's experience working with the 'All Blacks' in collaboration with 'Adidas'. Instead of extracting benefits from the sponsorship, Adidas took a distinctive approach by shifting from extraction to the addition of value. The key, Bracegirdle explained, was focusing on what was truly valuable to the team.

In a world where sponsorships often revolve around branding visibility, Adidas decided to invest in enhancing the All Blacks' experience. This strategic move not only aligned with the core values of the team but also created a better connection between the brand and its audience.

I learned that being interesting is about more than advertisements and catchy slogans, it's about understanding what truly matters to your audience and finding innovative ways to add value. The Adidas-All Blacks partnership serves as a reminder of the power of shifting from a transactional mindset to a relational one.

As marketers, there is a need to reset our thinking. Instead of chasing the latest trends and conforming to industry norms, we need to prioritise creativity and uniqueness. In a world where attention is a scarce resource, being interesting isn't just an advantage; it's a strategic mindset.

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