Adidas’s latest anti-smoking campaign features three cigarette butts layed out in a white background in the style of its logo, which includes their motto “impossible is nothing”. As one of the largest suppliers of athletic gear, Adidas looks to not only promote greater advantages in sports recreation, but also in good health. The communicator in the ad is the company Adidas, the primary audience would be smokers out there, but this message also applies to all athletes and athletic individuals. The message and purpose of the ad includes the fact that people who are smoking always have the option to quit, and as their motto implies, “impossible is nothing”. Normally, their motto is attributed to the fact that it is not impossible to try new things and go new depths in sports, and in this case it is saying that it is not impossible to quit smoking.
Indeed, Adidas argues a valid point, sending a positive message to society, and one should strive to spread a similar message. Accordingly, the ad campaign utilizes a series of rhetorical strategies to successfully grasp the reader’s attention. These rhetorical strategies involved in the ad are what make it a powerful message. Primarily, the visual representation is setup to make the message really clear. The ad brushes upon the pathos aspect of rhetoric to grab the viewer’s attention. Making a statement such as “impossible is nothing” and displaying the butt ends of lit out three cigarettes with one cigarette three quarters of the way lit finished, to the second that is almost finished to the filter, and the third that is finish all the way.
This is done purposely as practically everyone recognizes the Adidas logo, and can instantly perceive the message behind the ad. The ethos, or the aspect of credibility in this ad lies in the fact that Adidas is a big brand name, its products are widely purchased all over the world and its motto is recognized globally. In this respect, the audience witnesses two different ideas being presented to them at the same time: the symbolism behind the Adidas logo that allows the viewer to conjure the image of sports, and the lit out cigarette butts in association with their motto, which make it quite clear that this is an anti-smoking campaign.
Their message as a sports team is the fact that “impossible is nothing”, and this concept is meant to apply to dedicating to new endeavors in sports, and is quite often applied to life in general. In this specific ad campaign, smoking is not impossible. Surely, quitting smoking is most certainly possible and there are many living examples of them today. For instance, my interview with Michael Dempster, a sophomore at Drexel University proves that it is in fact quite possible to quit smoking. Michael mentioned that ever since he got involved with the different sports programs offered at Drexel, such as intramural basketball and the gym that is available for convenient hours during the day and night, he was smoking less and less until the habit completely left him.
It is inspiring and appropriate in the sense that Michael’s story applies to the topic of sports and athletics and how there is an inverse correlation between sports and smoking. One promotes good health while the other mars it. Michael mentions “it felt pretty good to lay off the smoking, and getting involved in an active lifestyle” (Dempster). He adds that “smoking always made (him) feel short of breath” while a good day’s workout “helped (him) breath more smoothly” (Dempster). From the perspective of blogger Zoe Colton, the viewers of the ad “see the cigarette butts in stages”, and implies that “quitting smoking is a process and should not be all at once” (Colton). Colton also feels that the Adidas Company “promotes healthy image of athletic gear” and that they “care about the health of the customers”. She also mentions how the ad is revealing how it not only “promotes a smoke-free lifestyle” but it also shows how “health equals power” (Colton).
Furthermore, there have been many researches done and papers written regarding the very topic of smoking. According to Terri Pettinger, a researcher in the field of health studies at the Alliant International University, “Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the world” (Pettinger). Not only is this a ubiquitous fact, but it is the one of most commonly ignored health warnings in today’s society. It is due to these reasons that the audience is being reminded by companies such as Adidas that there are always better alternatives, such as sports. Adidas is known for being a global promoter of health, and often reveal studies that reveal how sports can lead to an increase in one’s lifespan. Quite interestingly, Pettinger mentions “smoking accounts for an average reduction in lifespan of 13.2 years” (Pettinger).
There are many people out there that have stopped smoking due to a variety of reasons, including societal issues such as second hand smoke which is harmful to the community, and also one’s family if the habit is common inside households. Of the numerous reasons for people to stop smoking, one’s own health remains the primary reason for most, and should be a consideration. Adidas touches upon the heart of this issue, by making it personal for the individual viewer, and treating the advert as if it were one of its new sports releases such a shoe or a ball. Just as a new brand name shoe speaks individually to the viewer, and assures him/her that they must own a pair of them, the message of quitting smoking speaks in the same manner.
Dempster, Michael. Personal interview. 10 Jan. 2013.
My Interview with former
smoker Michael Dempster, who explains how he got out of the habit of smoking
Colton, Zoe. “Quit Smoking. Get Healthy. Adidas?” Notes from Zoe. Zoe Colton, 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
Pittenger, Terri. “Hostility and Smoking” Alliant International University, Nov. 2011. Dissertation. 30 Jan. 2013.
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