adidas recently launched a unique footwear initiative - ‘Odds’ catering to the needs of para-athletes. The initiative emerged from a simple idea from Taproot Dentsu of giving para-athletes, primarily blade runners, a pair of the same side footwear they need, instead of a generic pair.
The first film of the campaign launched by Taproot Dentsu and Carat Media, features athlete Major DP Singh, India’s first blade runner. Kabir Bedi has lent his voice for the cause. The film captures the Major’s life and his passion for running.
Explaining what went behind coming up with this idea, Santosh Padhi, Chief Creative Officer, Taproot Dentsu said, “When we had this product idea of two left and two right shoes for the para-athletes, we thought it’s important to launch the product with an emotional connect and in a big way.”
Padhi also reveals how the film’s director Vineet Bagga wanted to spend some time with Major DP Singh before the shoot despite running behind schedule for the launch of the film. “We delayed the shoot by few days on the director’s request just to make sure the director understands the protagonist well, such things really cannot be measured but adds to the end product.”
How does the campaign take forward the brand positioning for Adidas as a sports brand?
Adidas has done propositions like "impossible is nothing" and "all in" in the past, which is not very different than their current belief is 'no Athlete should be left behind', if you look at this piece of work, this too fits into their philosophy and brand belief.
What were the challenges when it came to executing the campaign?
When we had this product idea of two left and two right shoes for the para-athletes, we thought it’s important to launch the product with an emotional connect and in a big way. We were looking for a group of para-athletes to be the face of this campaign, as each of their bouncing back life stories with different life graphs could have added a completely new emotional-multi-dimension to our campaign. But unfortunately for various reasons, we couldn’t.
But after meeting Major DP Singh, we felt he symbolises everything that ODDS stands for. He was the right protagonist and his life story took our idea to the next level.
I feel we are extremely lucky that we got somebody like Major DP Singh, apart from being a great human being, he is good looking, super fit, full of life, intelligent and understands the nuances of creativity, all of these really helped us during the three days of shoot.
The film has been produced by Nomad films, Vineet Bagga directed the film. Let me touch upon one of the key things here, in spite of running behind schedule for the launch of the film, Vineet wanted to spend some time with Major DP Singh before the shoot which we thought was fair. We delayed the shoot by few days on the director’s request just to make sure the director understands the protagonist well, such things really cannot be measured but adds to the end product.
Is this a stand-alone campaign – or a part of a series?
It's a multimedia campaign with digital being the lead medium followed by some amount of TV, radio, and bit of OOH, there is one more film in the series, that will add a lot of momentum to the campaign soon.
Nike as a brand promotes a culture of running globally, was this film an attempt to connect with the audience at a larger level through bravery and heroism?
We Indians are not a sports centric nation, barring cricket and few other forms of sport, we are a passive sporting nation. But things are changing with the newer generations approach towards lifestyle, we wanted to add to the momentum. Hence, the whole idea was not only celebrating the para-athletes courage and approach towards sport but with this campaign via this inspirational story about Major DP Singh and his approach towards sport will certainly move common Indians to get into some form of physical activity. As they say, a healthy body leads to a healthy mind.