Are We The Generation That Alters Traditions?

-Amanda Lam-


Ad created, and owned, by adidas Group

The choice advertising for Pharrell Williams’ clothing and shoe line in collaboration with Adidas Originals is the topic of discussion for this article. The advertisement features two different images. The one on the left is zoomed out but the models stand in two horizontal lines, creating an equal sign. The image on the right features two models who appear to be a couple and are just about to kiss. Three simple words, “Equality Is Acceptance,” are plastered across the two images. Even though these words come across as effortless, they actually possess a significant role in the advertisement, especially because the words are capitalized and in bold. Equality is something that is easy to speak about, but the actual action of acceptance is not as elementary as this advertisement makes it out to be.

The first thing I noticed about the advertisement are the models Adidas used; they are all adolescents. This allows for the audience to directly relate Pharrell’s line to people who are young, fun, hip, and on-trend. But another thing this represents is the fact that we are the generation that will determine what the social norm is in the future. The more traditional, or old, way of thinking is that we should marry someone that is of the same race, same background, and of the opposite sex, but we are the generation that could change the “traditional” way of living and thinking.

The image on the right is more of the attention grabber as it uses sex appeal to make a statement. It features a heterosexual interracial couple with the word “Acceptance” underneath them. The focal point of using an interracial couple, both of whom are considered minorities in America, sends the message of acceptance for not only different ethnicities but also for interracial couples. Interracial couples to this day are sometimes seen as taboo. However, what would have made this advertisement even more powerful is if Adidas used a homosexual interracial couple instead.

Another powerful tool Adidas has at its disposal is the incorporation of an influential and well-liked celebrity, Pharrell Williams. When someone says Pharrell, one automatically relates him to someone that is cool, fashion-forward, positive, musically gifted and influential. Adidas’ use of a celebrity with such a good image, who spreads positivity and equality through his music and fashion, is obviously a very smart move on their end especially since Pharrell has a huge fan base, most of whom are on the younger side.

Last but not least, the colors used in this advertisement are all very warm and welcoming. The orange with the white, yellow, and green not only make it comfortable for the audience to look at the advertisement, but the colors are also attention grabbing, the orange jacket in contrast with the white backdrop. This could represent a couple of things, one being that the clothes and color you wear define you, not the color of your skin. This choice is tactical; it sells their clothing by making the consumer’s associate Adidas with a sense of progress. Another perspective could be that the Adidas brand is a welcoming and accepting brand. No matter what your ethnicity is, no matter what you look like, Adidas always welcomes new customers, which makes it feel as if there is a community behind you.

Though this advertisement could have included a homosexual interracial couple instead of a heterosexual one, it still leaves a positive impression on the audience because it promotes equality and acceptance to the youth of our generation. We are living in a society where others are very easily influenced by celebrities and big brands, and it is up to us to alter what is considered to be the social norm. The old ways of thinking have no place in our society today, and this advertisement is a perfect example of how society’s giant melting pot is what our future should become.

Categories: Opinion, Student Life

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