We daily see millions of advertisements on the Indian television. From the completely absurd to those that touch us and stay with us for a long, long time, there’s one thing all Indian adverts cash in on – the emotions. Every ad somewhere or the other runs high on emotions. And looking at the current run of Indian athletes in Rio Olympics and now the Rio Paralympics, we’ve recently been subjected to tons of adverts focusing entirely on sports. So while we have a girl playing a strenuous sport despite having her periods (sanitary napkin) on the other hand we have an increase in health food ads. But what Adidas has done is something unique.
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Their latest advertisement Odds shows a one-legged man. The ad opens with the view of an empty bridge and a man running. But you realise that his footsteps are not even. The shot moves to the running person – and you realise he has just one foot. The other is a prosthetic foot – or a blade. He’s shown running over the bridge, over uneven ground and over a lot of surfaces. He is practising for the marathon. The video shows us that he’s an army man who survived the battle but is fighting a war daily. His other wounds – like those caused by the shrapnel eating into his back – are also shown. So is his struggle with the running – the stress on his one remaining leg, the exercising, the care of the blade, etc is shown. But then, what is so special about this advert?
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Well, the ad created by Adidas shows us a war veteran and now athlete Major DP Singh. Major DP Singh lost his leg but he definitely has not lost his determination to succeed. The video is an ode to para-athletes who are struggling daily for their dreams to come true and winning. Major DP Singh is India’s first blade runner and to date, he has run 18 marathons. The one thing about this advertisement is that is will touch you in all the right spots. It has the right amount of emotions and the details are shown perfectly. The advertisement is not overly emotional but captures the essence beautifully. It tells us how sometimes, our biggest enemy is us and we fail to fight our own demons. It shows us how nothing is impossible and if we set our mind to it, we can achieve anything. It is full of determination and hope. The ad is voiced by Kabir Bedi .
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The advert by Adidas is about their Odds line of shoes – shoes which are different and aimed at athletes with foot disability. They are 2 of the same foot shoes – 2 right or 2 left so that the athlete does not have to buy a pair always. Launched right during the paralympics, the initiative is definitely great and this video sure inspiring. In the words of Adidas, “‘Odds’ by Adidas is a special edition pair of shoes created as an ode to all the para-athletes across the world. It is a unique pair of the same- 2 lefts or 2 rights put together for these inspirational athletes who defy all odds in life. Here’s the story of Major DP Singh, India’s first blade-runner and a war hero who has run over 18 marathons and continues to do so. In short, he has evened out the odds. Now it’s our turn.” Speaking about the initiative, Damyant Singh, Senior Marketing Director, adidas India said, “At adidas we live a simple principle. No Athlete left behind. This philosophy is at the heart of ‘Odds by adidas’. It is our way of encouraging & cheering Para-athletes on to achieving their best on the field of play and we hope Major DP Singh’s story inspires many more to live their dreams and prove that Sports has the power to change lives”
‘Odds’ is a pair of shoes for the same foot. The initiative emerged from a simple insightful idea from Taproot Dentsu of giving para-athletes, primarily blade runners, a pair of the same side footwear they need, rather than the generic pair that is sold to consumers. It is an ode to all athletes in the world who choose to run against the odds.