A review of the history of how Adolf Dassler created the Adidas company and logo.
We have to go back to 1920, when the brothers Adolf and Rudolf Dassler founded a company specializing in sports shoes called “Gebründer Dassler Schuhfabrik”. But after World War II, the relationship between the two got complicated and they decided to separate (you can find all the information about this story in the post “Adidas vs. Puma: The story of two opposing brothers”). Rudolf left the company to found Puma AG in 1948. A year later Adolf would change the name of the original company to Adidas.
This began to differentiate its products using three stripes. It would not be until 1972 when he introduced his famous Trefoil to be the iconic Adidas logo. With this new image, it gave the brand a historical character; since it was identified with the laurel crowns used in ancient Greece and Rome to distinguish the best athletes. There are other versions of the meaning of the Adidas “Trefoil”. One of them says that the logo represents the Olympic torch.
Over time, the Adidas logo has been updated to other versions. In 1997 it was updated to the current 3 lines in the form of a triangle or mountain. This symbol wants to represent the performance of the products and give the garments dynamism. A very reluctant change for consumers, who continue to see the “trefoil” as the only authentic Adidas logo.
The brand listened to the community and brought back the original logo under a new line of classic products. “Originals” would encompass those urban-sports style products such as these “Adidas Beckenbauer” products would recover the original logo. Currently, this new line of products is one of the best-selling by the German brand.
The resurgence of Adidas
It was not until 2004, on the eve of the World Cup to be held in Germany, that the brand decided to turn its communication around to compete with Nike.
The Dutch agencies 180 and TBWA\Chiat\Day analyzed the entire history of the brand in search of a claim that would rival “Just Do It”. And they got it thanks to Muhammad Ali and one of his most famous speeches, which said: “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. It’s temporary Impossible is nothing.”
These last three words perfectly summed up the message that Adidas wanted to communicate. And that’s why before the 2006 World Cup in Germany, they made a big investment. Under the umbrella of “Impossible is nothing” they gave us four of the five best Adidas commercials throughout its history.