Adidas shows the connection between high profile athletes and the crowds of their supporters. (Fact as of right now by NPR: China leads the total medal count, with 35 — one more than the U.S. The host country also leads in the rush for gold, with 22 to the U.S. tally of 10.)
Four great commercials, first one is my favorite:
Sui Feifei, basketball player with the Sacramento Monarchs, leaps towards a goal held by Chinese supporters. Zheng Zhi, captain of the Chinese football (soccer) team, does a crowd dive. Members of the Chinese womens volleyball team are backed up by the Chinese crowds. Hu Jia, gold medallist at the 2004 Olympics in the 10 metre platform, stands on a platform of people.
The Chinese soccer team are buoyed on the wings of popular support.
Zheng Zhi, captain of the Chinese football (soccer) team, narrates. “I am Zheng Zhi. In the 1999 Qualification Games for the Olympics I was only 19 years old. It was my first time participating in such an important contest. I was extremely nervous. With thousands of fans cheering we did our best. However, in the end, we still lost the game. The Olympic dream was broken. I can never forget the disappointment on their faces. I will always remember how frustrated I felt. Over the years I have grown stronger and better and now I am looking forward to the Beijing Olympics. I won’t let them down again. Together with the nation we will create a new chapter in China’s football history. Impossible is nothing.”
Hu Jia Diving
Hu Jia narrates: “I am Hu Jia. The first time I entered the Olympics I won silver. The following 3 to 4 years I kept winning silver, again and again. Some people thought I could never win gold, which made me very upset. I didn’t believe that 1st place was unachievable. I pushed my limits and trained extremely hard and finally in Athens I won. In 2008, in my hometown, I want to challenge myself once more.”
Chinese Volleyball Association
Feng Kun, captain of the Chinese Womens Volleyball team, narrates: “In the final match of the Olympic Athens Games, the whole nation was watching us and expecting us to win gold. We had not won gold for 20 years. How could we lose? Because of the heavy pressure, we performed badly. We had the feeling we were going to lose three sets in a row. In the key moment, our coach said, “Release your pressure. Do not overthink. Just play”. After getting rid of our burden, we finally won. In 2008, we will turn everyone’s expectations to be our motivation”
What I love most about these commercials is that Adidas shows the frailty of the human spirit coupled with the pride of a country. The use of black and white imagery with splashes of color make these commercials like art!