Media Week Awards 2008

Grand Prix Award: Carat for the Adidas London Marathon campaign

The Grand Prix was awarded to the category winner that, in the judges' opinion, stood out above every other campaign
The Grand Prix was awarded to the category winner that, in the judges' opinion, stood out above every other campaign

For those who run the London Marathon, Adidas’ brand mantra Impossible is Nothing is the ultimate expression of their effort and dedication. The sportswear firm’s slogan therefore formed the perfect centrepoint around which Carat could raise awareness of Adidas’ sponsorship of the event – encouraging runners, and their supporters, to achieve the impossible.

Working with a budget of £140,000, Carat quizzed athletes and found one fact stood out against the others – athletes never achieve their goals alone, but through support from friends and family.
Carat consequently focused on two campaign ideas – the Mobile Runner Tracker and Personalised Runner Messages.

In a marathon first, WAP technology was used to give spectators real-time inform­ation using their mobile phones, telling them where runners were at any given time, enabling them to be in the right place at the right time to cheer on their loved ones.

The second element was Personalised Runner Messages. Carat hijacked the site of the Cutty Sark, a key viewing point for spectators and TV coverage of the event, and synonymous with the Adidas spirit of achieving the impossible.

Two Adidas-branded banners and four large digital screens linked to runner identification software were erected to drive awareness of the brand. Before the Marathon, Carat collected messages of support from supporters. During the race, these were delivered to runners as they neared the screens, as were messages generated by the campaign team, such as: Come on Sam James from Hillingdon, pain is temporary, but pride is forever… love from Adidas.

The campaign augmented awareness of Adidas’ sponsorship. The screens delivered messages to 5,250 of the 35,000 runners and the Cutty Sark site attracted 3,500 runners on the day. Beyond that, more than 3.1 million people watched the event on TV.

The WAP site was used by spectators to track 4,000 participants, attracting more than 107,000 page views on the day.

Carat demonstrated that budgetary constraints need not constrain a campaign’s impact, with its deceptively simple use of innovative technology.

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