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Clever Creative: Redeem the Team

This ad looks at athletes and sports from a different angle: the losing side.

Clever Creative: Redeem the Team

Posted Thursday September 01st, 2016 by in Creativity + Art.

As many of our history’s famous men and women can tell you, their success came from their failures. This week’s Clever Creative embodies that message in a motivational ad from Russell Athletics that recollects the night that changed the lives of 45 young men. Last year during Indiana's State High School Football Championship game, the New Palestine Dragons were down by 28 points. Under Coach Kyle Ralph, the team was able to take the lead and were on their way to becoming the state champions with the comeback story of a lifetime. However, with just 8-seconds left in the 4th quarter, the team faced a major upset.

The creative does not highlight the victories of teams, but rather their defeats, and turns them into a compelling story that chronicles the journey to #SettleYourScore. The non-traditional advertising approach documents not only the New Palestine Dragons, but five other football teams across the nation that lost their state championship football games by a touchdown or less. Russell Athletics took this compelling story, as well as interviews from the community, family members and the athletes, and turned it into a memorable ad focused on redemption.

Why our GEMites liked this clever creative:

If you asked anyone off the street to name three athletic apparel brands, there’s a very good chance that none of them would mention Russell Athletics in their list. Even though they do sell your typical shorts, tops and sweats, they are known more for their teamwear. Still, one could say that Russell Athletics is the underdog of the athletic apparel world, which makes the fact that they are supporting the underdogs in their new ads even better — and one reason why we liked it so much. We also love it because it has heart. This team could have experienced its devastating loss and then felt discouraged to play football again. They could have just put the loss behind them and try to move on. Instead, they are using this loss as motivation to drive them back to their state championship game to take what is theirs.

Our GEMites also love that the ad has perfect timing. Schools around the nation are starting back up, which means so are their athletics. In the next few weeks the New Palestine Dragons will be playing their first football game of the season and will be one step closer to the State Championship title. The ad’s perfect timing will inspire high school teams all across America to use their losses to fuel their victories. We love this ad because of its heart, timing and the epic story/message of redeeming the team.

Why our fellow creatives should like this:

When you think of every other athletic brand’s advertisements, you’ll realize that they’ll usually include a famous athlete or a winner. Although some of these ads are great, they’re the norm, which makes it harder for consumers to differentiate which ad belongs to which brand. We think our fellow creatives should like this ad because it looks at athletes and sports from a different angle: the losing side. Everybody wants to be a winner, but the truth is, there has to be losers, and Russell Athletics realized that. So, they went with this angle and spun it to show that defeat can become the ultimate motivation for athletes. We believe that some of the greatest ads are those that don’t go for the obvious angle, and this is one great ad. Russell Athletics took compelling stories and the actual athletes that were a part of them and showed that there is another side to sports that most athletic brands forget about. We also think our fellow creatives should love this ad because of the unconventional choices the creative directors made for it. For one, the ad is in black and white, which you don’t see too often anymore. This is a great way to set your ad apart from others because if every other ad is in color and then a black and white one comes on, consumers are bound to pay more attention, or remember, that one more than any other. Also Russell Athletics decided to make the ad in a documentary-style, which is very unique and ingenious. We believe the uncommon angle and creative choices Russell Athletics made for this ad are why you should love it, and what makes it a perfect redemption ad for the athletes and the company itself.

Let us know what you think, and look out for next week’s installment of Clever Creatives!

If you’re looking for some clever creative of your own, feel free to contact us.


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