Visual Storytelling

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Text of Visual Storytelling

Examples Visual storytelling in sport advertising

Visual Storytelling in Sport AdvertisingBy Ali Hassan Arshad of APR Blogs

Contents PageWhy Visual Storytelling is Important?Why do Sport Brands use Visual Storytelling?Examples of Visual Storytelling

Example 1:Cultural SignificanceCelebrate Valentines Day, the Adidas WayReaction to The ImageCelebrities Join Adidass Mission for EqualityThe Wheel of Equality

Example 2: Motivational BrandingNike Tries to Find Your GreatnessWhy Visual Storytelling Motivates People?Can Visual Storytelling Be Successful?

Example 3: Unity and Support of the FansWhy Visual Storytelling Needs The Fans?Nikes Comes Together with LeBron JamesWhy LeBron James?Smaller Details Make The Biggest DifferenceHow Nike Benefited From This

In Conclusion

Why Visual Storytelling is Important?

1. Lionel Messi is out of this world! The best player in the world takes his rightful position on top of it. A picture is worth a thousand words, A famous old phrase that was coined as early as 1911 still has as much significance in modern day society.It has been proven that campaigns and advertising is much more effective when the use of visual connotations (images and videos) are applied.High visual content has resulted in greater engagement and encouragement for consumers to become emotionally and physically involved.The response of visuals is quicker, easier and depending on the choice of image, it results in an heightened emotional impact on us. A picture can also describe the persons reputation and personality as it is a true reflection of themselves.

Why do Sport Brands use Visual Storytelling?

The past two decades have seen a massive change in the way sport brands now use different forms of campaign advertising. The big brands, Nike and Adidas, have been implementing visual storytelling and have shifted a majority of their advertising towards content online. A key factor is down to the change in behaviour their target demographic has shown during this period.The transition to more online orientated strategies have meant that the emphasis has been placed on visual storytelling to become a new method to promote the brand image. This brings creativity and innovation to the masses, whether this be through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Sport stars are the face of the brand, they are regarded as idols and freaks of nature across their fans. And brands are making it their priority to use this to their full potential.

2. Being greeted in Portland by Michael and his Jordan's.

Examples of Visual Storytelling


4.Example 1:Cultural Significance

Many images are a true reflection of modern day society and sport brands have begun to look at incorporating cultural references within their campaigns.As time moves forward, a brand must reflect its innovative culture upon all demographics.Whether this be same sex or interracial couples, brands must now adhere to all audiences to maximise a growing consumer base.



On Valentines Day, Adidas posted an image of two women standing in front of each other, a homage to the widely popular image that usually features a man and a woman. The image was posted on various online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with a caption, The love you take, is the love you make.Whilst the image and the caption were both brief and simple, the message behind the image was powerful.Promoting the concept that all members of society have a right to celebrate Valentines Day with their loved ones. But Adidas still managed to promote their brand within the image.The is still prominent and they have also promoted their new Pure Boost X Shoes in the process.

7.Celebrate Valentines Day, the Adidas way

Reaction to The ImageAs expected, the image caused quiet the reaction and debate amongst the public.Many were supportive of the direction Adidas took to promote Valentines Day.Whilst others were outraged by how Adidas, one of the biggest sport brands, could even get involved in such a social matter.The image gained widespread coverage on social media, news articles online and personal blogs.However, Adidas themselves took the initiative to defend their campaign, regularly replying to homophobic and insulting comments left on their Instagram page.Here are a few examples


8. Kisses from Adidas

9. Support on Twitter allowed for great exposure and positive promotion from the modern demographic

Adidas are always looking to find new ways to promote and raise awareness of social issues through the means of a simple image.The reaction, whether it be positive or negative, was a clever strategy that allowed for the discussion surrounding such as social issue to be put forward. The benefit for Adidas is that the more people talk about it, the more people will know about it and therefore people will get to know Adidass stance on the issue. For Adidas, the support shown towards the image, would reflect the culture the company is trying to promote, a modern, innovative and accepting company, something that society should aspire to be. Free promotion- The public is doing the work for them and raising awareness of the issue will equally raise the awareness of the brand and the product.

Celebrities Join Adidass Mission for EqualitySticking to the theme of equality, Adidas have previously been vocal on social issues, especially surrounding diversity and discrimination.When musician Pharrell Williams announced a long term collaboration in 2014, Skateboard P decided to use his platform for a good cause and created a conceptual campaign on equality.The image that kick started the campaign, showed an equal sign next to Pharrells name and the Adidas logo next to it.Whilst the other image saw, the 3 stripe Adidas logo with Pharrell face behind it. The combination of the famous 3 stripe Adidas logo, the rainbow colours synonymous of LGBT and Pharrell Williams, signified Adidass stance on equality and the support it has from major celebrities.


Within the campaign, Adidas focused heavily on having images that best represents unity and togetherness. They created the Adidas Colour Wheel Image, which shows Pharrell sit in the middle of colours Adidas shows and also found in the Equality is Strength image. Circles commonly represent unity, wholeness, and infinity. The aim of the campaign was to create awareness for equal rights and to bring people together through the powers of colour, therefore being able to unite people.Again very simple, yet highly effective of symbolism and representation of what society should do when there is a cultural issue. The images were posted on various platforms, including Pharrell's own Instagram page, he became the face of the brand and the campaign.

The Wheel of Equality


Example 2: Motivational Branding



The aim of any sport brand is being able to inspire regular people to become active and the best athletes they can possibly be. To inspire their target demographic a sense of realism must be created within the images. This can be done through motivational and powerful imagery. Or a quote that motivates people to exceed their potential.An image can produce many messages, a person running or winning a trophy could be the catalyst for others to get involved. That is why sport brands are looking at getting more ordinary people involved within their campaigns, rather than only focusing on the sport stars.



Nike Tries to Find Your Greatness

In 2012, Nike focused on promoting their Find Your Greatness campaign.It revolved around clips and images of everyday athletes, not superstars, trying to overcome a challenge that makes them achieve greatness.The images showed that you dont need to be a championship athlete or a world record holder to achieve greatness. An image of a small boy looking far down into a swimming pool connotes the challenge and risks that have to be taken to become what you inspire to be. Powerful imagery- The idea that ordinary or non-athletes can do whatever they can, such as the image of the overweight boy running on the road. Going against the norm- Adidas focused on professional athletes compared to Nikes more amateur athlete promotion


Why Visual Storytelling Motivates People?It brings out the best in people- Visuals inspire people, an emotionally powerful image can show how relatable it is to ordinary people. Seeing a major sport brand trying to motivate you through imagery allows for sense of belonging. Filming locations, techniques and the scale of skills on show frequently drive people to claim a physical response in addition to an emotional one.Location and action shots allow film makers the chance to innovate and work with a greater variety of styles and techniques. Consumers appreciate these and are quick to complement.A more visible theme was that to inspire people to do more, to be active and try new things.It doesnt feel like an advertisement- Inspirational images and subtle moments of branding makes it look like the campaign is aiming to be more personal rather than financial.


Can Visual Storytelling Be Successful?

21.Its great having visual images, but can you measure such an approach in terms of how successful it has been. Firstly, the Find Your Greatness campaign lead to unanimous praise from people online.Just like the Adidas Valentines Day image, the online praise only benefited Nike in cross platform promotion which was done by the consumer rather than them. Running parallel to this was a Twitter promotion #findgreatness which ignited global conversation about how athletes around the world find their own greatness.Whilst online performance saw Nike achieve a 6% growth