When we got the brief for a new sneaker called the “ZX 2K Boost”, adidas sent us a sample of the shoe. We kept it on one of our desks in our adi strategy pod, and noticed something interesting during the first week of having it there. Everyone who came up to our desks would instinctively pick up and squeeze the heel of the shoe. It was bright, colorful, squishy, and helped relieve tension as they inevitably asked us for more work. There was something oddly satisfying about it.
This tactile observation, combined with Gen Z internet culture that basked in the weird, visceral, and strange (the "oddly satisfying" reddit community has 5 million members) led us to a strategic territory around the sneaker being oddly satisfying, and ultimately to a creative territory called “Feel the ZXience”.
Rather than bringing this weird world to life through traditional ads, we leaned into how Gen Z already consumed this type of escapist content, and created the first ever streaming network starring a sneaker. We worked with YouTube creators, animators, and talent partners to create a 12 hour (!), constantly looping network on the adidas YouTube channel, filled with oddly satisfying content starring our squishy, squeezy shoe.
The videos in our network lived across social, digital and partner channels, and the approach drew Gen Z into the content (over 25 million views across shows) and held them there (average view time of 3:13 on the network) which was a feat for the generation famous for an 8 second attention span.