SA directed adidas Originals ad calls for the past to be a creative canvas for the future

A first for a South African-directed ad, the new adidas Originals global campaign “Original Is Never Finished” got millions of hits in its first couple of days.

adidas Original's new global commercial, Original Is Never Finished, features visionaries from the worlds of music, skate, sport, style and art. Shot in South Africa and directed by Egg Film’s Terence NealeOriginal Is Never Finished trended on YouTube on its release, with over four million views in under 48 hours.

The film features a remix of Frank Sinatra’s iconic song, My Way, with a provocative approach to today’s streetwear culture to show that original things never go out of fashion. 

Conceptualised under the creative direction of adidas Originals’ global creative agency Johannes Leonardo, Original Is Never Finished explores this idea that if you push something far enough, it becomes original again. The campaign signals the launch of EQT footwear – a celebrated icon from the 1990’s, redefined for a new generation.

“The past empowers the future. This is a philosophy that the Originals brand stays true to in everything they do. We wanted to bring this to life by exploring the rich creative past of all spheres of creativity, music, art, film and even sport,“ explain Ferdinando Verderi, Wes Phelan and Matt Edwards, creative directors at Johannes Leonardo. “Original Is Never Finished is an open invitation to the new creative community. It’s a call to action to create by using the past as a canvas for new ideas.”

Original Is Never Finished brings to life the idea that recreating, in your own way, will always lead to something truly original.  For example, in the scene, The Birth of Venus, artist/photographer Petra Collins reinvents a symbolic icon of beauty, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. Collins’ subversive, striking visual sequence creates a new relevancy for a famous work of art. In another scene, rapper and songwriter Snoop Dogg recreates his very own Doggystyle album cover with a trippy chase scene, while also making a statement on gender equality in hip hop culture by swapping the roles of his original, iconic protagonists. 

The film marks Terence Neale’s second collaboration with adidas Originals and Johannes Leonardo; last year’s Your Future Is Not Mine was ranked at number seven in Creativity’s countdown of the best ads of 2016, among other accolades.