Participants in the London Marathon range from the amateur, the elderly and the disabled to the seasoned professional, and yet Adidas' brand mantra "Impossible is Nothing" neatly captures everyone's effort and dedication.
The slogan therefore formed the crux of Carat's campaign to raise awareness of Adidas' sponsorship of one of the sporting calendar's most famous events. Working with a minimal budget (£140,000), Carat's research found one fact that stood out - athletes rely on the support of friends and family to achieve their goals.
On this basis, Carat decided to maximise the return on the client's spend by focusing on two concepts - the Mobile Runner Tracker and Personalised Runner Messages.
For the first time in the Marathon's history, WAP technology was used to give those cheering on the runners real-time information on their mobile phones. The Mobile Runner Tracker enabled them to track a runner's whereabouts at any given time, so they could be in the right place at the right time to give their support.
The Personalised Runner Messages element saw Carat dominate one of the race's key locations - the site of the Cutty Sark restoration, a key viewing point for spectators and TV coverage. The nature of the site itself, home to the rebuild of the historical clipper after the tragic fire of 2007, was in keeping with Adidas' mantra of achieving the "impossible".
Two banners and four large digital screens linked to runner-tracking software were erected to drive awareness of the brand. Before the Marathon, Carat collected messages of support from supporters of runners and these were delivered during the race as participants approached the screens.
The impact was significant, boosting awareness of Adidas' sponsorship of the Marathon. The screens delivered messages to 5,250 of the 35,000 runners and the Cutty Sark site attracted 3,500 spectators on the day. In addition, more than 3.1 million people watched the event on TV.
The Mobile Runner Tracker was used by spectators to track more than 4,000 runners and there were more than 107,000 page views on the day. On average, supporters tracked their runners 17 times.
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This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk