Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Spot the Difference: Adidas and Nike

Strolling through the tube tunnel at the South Kensington station I noticed an ad poster in which a young, strong-looking bloke is looking right at me with more than a glimpse of attitude. The bold tagline proclaims ‘I AM THE RULES.’ The NIKE swish in the corner of the image seems to belong there – this is precisely the fierce, youthful and defiant campaign we have come to expect from this brilliant brand.
As I prepare to trot on through the freezing tunnel, the poster right next to it catches my eye.

In it, the guy is also young and oozing urban cool and confidence. A prominent shrift declares a stunningly similar-sounding line: ‘WE ARE LONDON.’ But this second ad is not Nike – it’s Adidas.
Both of these leading sports brands have successfully developed exciting, eye-catching but most importantly – indistinguishable – poster campaigns. When customer-centric marketers working for competing brands all talk to the same target group and follow the same trends, all brand managers end up with the same output and brands begin to lose their differentiating qualities.

Let this be a lesson to all of us.

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