Adidas shuns TV ads; launches new app focused on personalisation

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 7 November 2017
Salesforce EVP of product & solutions marketing, Stephanie Buscemi, also took to the stage to discuss how the sports brand works with the CRM giant,

Global sportswear giant Adidas has reinforced its focus on digital by swearing off TV ads, zoning in on digital and launching a new brand app focused on personalisation.

During the Salesforce Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, in addition to a sizzle reel showcasing how the brand works with the cloud computing company, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff welcomed Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted to the stage.

Rorsted, who said the online store grew 60% this year and currently sells 1.2 m pairs of shoes a day, said “the most important store we have in the world is .com”, adding that Adidas now has much more of a “hybrid model” and is not just focused on bricks and mortar stores.

Adidas believes that the age of “sub-par performance in digital has gone” as the people who are now engaging in those experiences know the speed of a site, “they know what good looks like”, so brands have had to evolve.

After making comments in May to CNBC that the brand would be backing away from TV ads, Rorsted again reinforced the notion. 

“Our primary interface now is through digital media, there is no TV advertising,” he said. 

The presentation saw the German multinational corporation unveil its new personalised app which hosts products from the complete online store; a personalised newsfeed and a chatbot to take customer inquiries. The chatbot is powered by Salesforce’s artificial intelligence offering Einstein and the personalisation stems from Salesforce’s DMP that is has “working intelligently in the background”.

Tailored to the consumer’s preferences and behaviour, the app also gives customised product recommendations, inspiration through personalised articles, blog posts, videos and real-time updates about the sports, athletes and products the user is interested in. Consumers can complete transactions directly in the app using the tap to buy through Apple Pay and Android Pay and track their order.

Head of digital brand commerce at Adidas, Joseph Godsey, said the new app helps the brand connect and create direct relationships with its consumers.

“The app gets to know the consumer’s sport and style preferences and learns from his or her behaviour and interaction with Adidas across all our digital touch points," Godsey said.

“The most relevant news stories, articles, blog posts, videos and events announcements are surfaced to engage with the consumer on what they are passionate about. It will take into account preferred sizes and colours and shows availability based on the consumer’s country location.”

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff & Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff & Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted

Adidas VP of digital design, Jacqueline Smith-Dubendorfer, said these days if you are not meeting consumer expectation at the first point of interaction then you have lost them straight away, adding that you need to be able to respond to consumer expectations immediately.   

“This generation expects something now, they want instant gratification, they want to explore, they want to discover,” she said.

Adidas says it has moved away from a world where it would spend six or nine months building out a big site or web capability - which they’d launch with great fanfare and then celebrate - and instead, now constantly adapts and makes website change on the fly.

The new app uses Salesforce technology including its Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud and is only available in the US and UK. There are plans to roll out the new app in more countries through the first half of 2018. 

Want more on Adidas? See: Adidas global media boss calls for 'single set of rules' to clean up programmatic's reputation

*AdNews traveled to Dreamforce as a guest of Salesforce.

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