MMA Case Study: Adidas Euro 2008

David Murphy

The brief
Adidas wanted to engage supporters in the Euro 2008 Football Championship. The tournament began on 7 June and concluded with the final in Vienna on 29 June. Adidas wanted to increase awareness of its sponsorship during Euro 2008, and reinforce its existing brand message on mobile. It was the first ever Euro Mobile Campaign for Adidas. Football fans could have Adidas content delivered direct to their handsets.

The first part of the mobile activity was a large display advertising campaign which supported the mobile activity created by Marvellous, using Adidas football endorsers such as Djibril Cissé and Patrick Vieira. The ads were invitations for people to participate in the Euro 2008 mobile campaign.
Users were encouraged to personalize their mobiles with exclusive downloaded content, including logos, ringtones, screensavers and national team kits. A large section of the mobile site was dedicated to free video content available to download, based on the overarching campaign theme of: ‘Dream Big, The world’s biggest footballers, The world’s smallest team’. Adidas also created a Java game designed for the tournament, called ‘3on3’.
Interactivity was another important factor. Each supporter could leave a dedication to the French team (‘Les Bleus’) which could then be shared with their friends and posted on a wall directly on the mobile site. 
The mobile site was also used to build purchase intent, by providing pages dedicated to apparel such as the F50, Predator and adipur football shoes and sportswear collections.

To maximize the potential of the advertising campaign, Adidas engaged Microsoft Advertising to provide a selection of channels to reach the Adidas target audience of sport-aware 18-24 year-old males. This included banner mobile ads on MSN Mobile, Windows Live Hotmail Mobile, Windows Live Messenger Mobile and L’Equipe.fr Mobile.
Adidas leveraged consumers’ enthusiasm for mobile in a number of different ways: brand awareness and engagement via the content downloads; viral engagement via the ‘text to a friend’ option; and brand engagement via a data capture element, inviting consumers to register their details to receive updates when new products become available.

The Adidas campaign benefited from the popularity of the competition, one of the most entertaining in recent memory, which in turn improved the clickthrough rate. The mobile campaign outperformed expectations from day one. In fact, on 6 June, the day before Euro 2008 started, the global clickthrough rate on L’Equipe.fr. reached 12.6%.

MMA Viewpoint: Consumers want to interact with their favourite brands based on affinity, but also on entertainment, fun, personalization and increasingly, around productivity. A key benefit of the mobile channel for marketers is that it allows them to create this interaction and dialogue with the consumer. A conversation based on engagement, using exclusive content such as the Euro 2008 game cited here and the messaging tool used to leave dedications to ‘les Bleus’ is a great way to drive response rates without being intrusive.
Relevance is also a key component for a successful marketing campaign over mobile, contributing to a positive consumer experience and adhering to MMA recommendations on trust. As we’ve seen recently with the Beijing Olympics and the number of mobile campaigns launched by brands such as Coca-Cola and Yahoo!, using topical events can be a great way to capitalise on consumer interest, whilst the ability to use mobile to successfully target a specific consumer segment is also evident here; using particular Microsoft channels to reach the target audience of sport-aware 18-24 year old men around the football tournament theme.
Mobile has in the past been seen as presenting a challenge for brands to understand the effectiveness of a campaign across operator networks or technology enablers, or to define mobile’s reach, but case studies such as this, with tangible results and solid proof points, can only help our industry to grow.