Adidas wins Cannes Direct with 321 runner plus...4 more brilliant running inspired campaigns.

A snapshot look at an awarded campaign with a curated pick of past campaigns that use a similar creative approach in some way.

Adidas wins Cannes Direct with 321 runner plus...4 more brilliant running inspired campaigns.

Adidas' Runner 321 campaign, created by FCB Toronto, was awarded the Direct Lions Grand Prix at Cannes. Launched on World Down Syndrome Day, the campaign tells the inspiring story of Chris Nikic, Adidas' first sponsored athlete with Down Syndrome. Nikic, a triathlete and marathon runner, became the world's first Ironman with Down Syndrome. The campaign featured Adidas reserving bib number 321 for Chris to race in the Boston Marathon, symbolizing Trisomy 21, the medical identifier for Down Syndrome. Runner 321 aligns with Adidas' Impossible is Nothing series, uplifting underrepresented groups through sports. The truly astonishing part of the mechanics behind the campaign is that many of the marathons are heavily sponsored by Adidas competitors like Nike, Asics, and New Balance, and the brands needed to agree to hold the “321” runner’s spot for a Down Syndrome Runner.

The Ridiculous Run | Adidas | 2023

Reimagine women’s runs to demonstrate what they would need to do to feel safe while running. Adidas discovered that 92% of women don't feel safe while running, prompting the brand to address the barriers to fitness faced by its female community. In response, Adidas launched "The Ridiculous Run" campaign, visually depicting – in farcical fashion - the measures women need to take to ensure their safety while running, such as being detailed by an entire secret service entourage! The campaign aims to raise awareness and spark positive change, emphasizing the need for male support around the issue.

Rewards Come To Those Who Run | New Balance | MullenLowe | 2023

Mediahub, MullenLowe, and New Balance launched "Rewards Come To Those Who Run," a targeted campaign that aimed to inspire runners of all abilities to unlock the physical and mental rewards of running. The campaign went live across the UK, Germany, and France, starting with D/OOH and followed by online and social video, as well as digital display ads featuring New Balance lockers as a visual metaphor. The campaign included a partnership with Strava and the "30 km in 30 days" challenge, where runners had the opportunity to win prizes, such as entry to the 2023 New York City Marathon, training sessions with British Marathon Champion Jonny Mellor, and New Balance running shoes and apparel. The campaign sought to encourage and empower individuals to experience the rewards of running, highlighting the accessibility and benefits of the sport.

Outlaw Runners | Distance | BETC | 2021

Challenge athletes in the brand's kit to run past speed cameras fast enough to trigger the flash. At the end of August, the city of Paris introduced new speed limit laws, limiting cars to just 30kph (18mph). Running store Distance took this as an opportunity to challenge runners. As Paris speed cameras were adjusted to track drivers, Distance encouraged runners to break the limit. A group that included professional runners Lena Kandissounon and Quentin Malriq took to the streets on foot to see if they would be caught by speed cameras. And they were. The actual photos taken by the cameras were used in an OOH campaign and on social media, while the chain set up a camera outside of its Paris store so anyone could test their speed.  A Contagious 2021 Top Pick.

And for something a little different...

The World's First Baby Marathon | Huggies | Ogilvy | 2018

Reveal how much babies really move as a reason to invest in comfortable nappies. On behalf of Huggies, Ogilvy discovered that babies are far more active than we probably thought, often covering distances of over 3km per day once they start moving. Huggies saw this an opportunity to showcase the importance of diapers designed for such active babies and brought this fact to life. They introduced The World's First Baby Marathon, supported by wearable distance-tracking devices that collected real data. The campaign followed four adorable babies as they crawled and toddled their way through an impressive 21-kilometer journey within the comfort of their own homes. The marathon unfolded through a dedicated website and a series of online episodes, providing a mix of entertainment and product demonstration. This unique campaign demonstrated Huggies as the go-to choice for comfortable and reliable diapers for babies on the move.