Our Work: Influencer marketing with adidas

Real stories delivering real impact

Influencer marketing is rapidly becoming an essential part of the digital toolkit for brands.

Close to 60 percent of fashion & beauty brands have an influencer marketing strategy in place, for example; with a further 21 percent citing plans to invest in it in the next 12 months.

But as more brands jump on the bandwagon, we’re witnessing a deluge of poorly executed campaigns where influencers are simply given structured messages or captions to regurgitate verbatim. Like that new make-up foundation that five influencers unanimously felt it was “the best ever”, or that piece of electronics kit that ten others said was something “they can’t live without”.

At best it feels inauthentic, at worst fake. And, as a consequence, consumers are becoming increasingly desensitised. They are done with reading bull**** on their feeds, where it used to be a native space for them to engage with ‘real’ content from peers and people they looked up to.

That ‘realness’ or authenticity has to come from a genuine connection between brand and influencer — around shared passions or aspirations. A meaningful, collaborative exchange.

And that was at the heart of our approach for some very recent work for adidas.

To mark latest chapter in the brand’s Sport17 campaign we wanted to produce a highly engaging, aesthetic content series for social — for our target audience in Singapore. So we identified local professional athletes and sports influencers who both had strong resonance with lifestyle fitness enthusiasts, and shared adidas’ brand philosophy: Here to Create. We then asked them to craft a 30-second cinematic film to express what that philosophy meant to them and their personal story.

We supported the development of visual concepts, scenes and scripts, and managed the filming, editing and post production. But this was very much their story, told their way.

The films were launched in succession a week apart on adidas’ Facebook channel and the influencers’ own Instagram pages,

The first to go live featured TeamSG high-jumper, Michelle Sng. Michelle recently clinched a gold medal for Singapore at the SEA Games 2017 — the first gold the nation had seen since 1965. The win also had deep personal significance for Michelle. The Bukit Jalil Stadium, where the games were held this year, was where she made the decision in 2011 to hang her spikes up. She had not been back since she started her comeback.

The other films featured Singapore national football team goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, model and fitness influencer Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw, and DJ and avid runner Joakim Gomez — all with their own inspiring stories.

In four weeks the films had garnered over 160,800 views, 6,225 engagements and an unprecedented 13.1% share-through rate. They are adidas Singapore’s most successful content series to-date, achieving an astounding 11.9% organic engagement rate, higher than the industry average (with the exception of Michelle’s video which generated a 155% index). Fans kept coming back to her page to watch the video and were linking their friends to Michelle’s channel, organically increasing the reach of her video beyond her fan base.

The results speak for them self. When brands collaborate with influencers to develop an authentic narrative, delivered through a sequence which elevates the story, it cuts through the clutter. Fans sit up and pay attention. They willingly share these stories and build a connection with the brand (as seen through ‘shout outs’ congratulating the brand for this initiative). Following the success of this series, Creation and adidas are exploring further opportunities to inspire audiences and excite them with new offerings the brand has in store.