In the competitive world of lifestyle sportswear, the difficulty for brands like Adidas is making sure that new campaigns continue to attract attention without becoming to gimmicky. To coincide with the launch of a new line of men's trainers, Adidas created an online virtual world, available exclusively to owners of the new trainers.
The Adidas virtual world can only be accessed by using the code printed on the tongue of the trainer. Users navigate around the world using the trainer, which also doubles as a controller in the augmented reality games that are to be launched throughout the year. Consumers will have to purchase other trainers in the range to gain access to new content areas.
Chris Barbour, head of digital marketing for Adidas Originals promises users, "a fantastic virtual world" built on a real world item. AR is undeniably the technology trend of 2010, as more brands create new ways to exploit the new medium. Adidas has experimented with of AR before, with its "Every Team Needs A Spark" campaign, designed to promote a line of football boots in 2009.
Virtual worlds are not a new idea, but with an estimated 600million registered users worldwide, the concept has long since escaped its geeky origins to become a formidable marketing tool. Several businesses, such as M
Mcdonald's and Toyota operate a presence on sites like Second Life, creating a new environment in which they can interact with consumers.