A tale of (sportswear) heroes

Quilt.AI
Quilt.AI
Published in
2 min readMar 28, 2023

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A Nike vs. Adidas ad evaluation

In the branding world, it’s well-known that Nike and Adidas, two leading sportswear brands, exude the Hero archetype in their positioning. From their slogans to advertising content, these two brands utilize the Hero in their communications by signaling their consumers to push past their limitations to succeed or achieve their personal best.

However, are their ads up-to-date for the modern digital world’s definition of a Hero? To answer this, we used Sphere’s Ad Evaluator tool which was trained on nearly 1 billion expressions, to take a closer look at one 2022 ad from each brand, conducting a frame-by-frame analysis on each ad to detect the archetypal cues and the number of times their logo was present, as well as measure various ad testing values (e.g., accessibility, enjoyability, and relatability).

Here’s what we found:

Nike’s ‘Never Settle, Never Done’ ad

In this fast-moving Nike ad, the AI detected a myriad of archetypes, with no clear signaling of the Hero. This ad was action-packed, but had no clear storyline — this may be why our AI assigned all-round ad testing value scores.

Adidas’s ‘I’MPOSSIBLE — Ellie Goldstein’ ad

In contrast, this Adidas ad scored significantly higher in accessibility while detecting a near-equal split in Heroic and Everyman archetypal cures (with some Explorer cues), as depicted through British model Ellie Goldstein dancing her way through various scenes confidently.

As such, our AI indicated that expressions of accessibility and inclusivity are linked to the modern-day Hero, while traditional Heroic visuals of achievement no longer cut it.

Download the full report to find out more.

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Quilt.AI
Quilt.AI

We are a culturally rooted, AI powered insights firm that converts millions of data signals into human understanding. Visit us: https://quilt.ai