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adidas SEA gets Gen Z bobbing to rap beat in music collabs for new shoes

adidas SEA gets Gen Z bobbing to rap beat in music collabs for new shoes

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Adidas is putting a musical spin to market its latest shoe, the NMD_V3, by having an adidas Originals NMD_V3 Cypher. The cypher gathers rappers, R&B artists, and beatboxers from Singapore and Malaysia to tell their stories through rap, whilst celebrating the NMD spirit of originality and modern trailblazers. Meanwhile, the brand said it took a different direction with music collaborations in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. 

The KOLs included Singapore's Sheikh Haikel, Azrael, J.M3, Hairi Eyes, and PRAV; Malaysia's A-Kid, Airliftz, and Hullera; and Indonesia's Fang Tatis, Kyriz Boogieman, and Liquid Silva. The videos for the Philippines and Vietnam cyphers are slated to go live this week.

Naufal Gani, brand communications senior manager of adidas Southeast Asia, explained that the idea of performing a cypher across Southeast Asia to celebrate the launch of the new shoe was inspired by the genesis of creation - creativity. "We wanted to go back to the source of creation and pay homage to the iconic spirit of the NMD franchise," Gani said.

According to him, music was chosen as a lever as it has the power to viscerally move and inspire millions around the world. A nod to adidas Originals’ rich heritage in music and hip-hop, the team conceived the adidas Originals NMD_V3 Cyphers to amplify the campaign story, while putting forward music visionaries across the region as faces for the NMD_V3 in a way which Gani described said has "never been done before".

Meanwhile, Tiffany Cheah, brand communications manager, adidas Singapore told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it is activating an integrated marketing and communications campaign across earned media, media partnerships, KOLs, on-ground activations, as well as own and paid social media executions on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram to promote the NMD_V3. Adidas declined to reveal the monetary value of the campaign.

"With the NMD_V3 Cypher, we wanted to achieve three objectives: land the story with a Gen Z audience, strengthen the brand’s position as a thought leader in street-fashion and culture, and authentically connect with sneakerheads through shared passions," she explained.

Cheah added that the Cypher conceived was able to help adidas achieve all of that and more. By creating this platform for local artists to collaborate, Cheah said the brand was able to amplify the campaign story beyond just product and connect with artists’ target audiences with whom we see strong synergies. "More importantly through this creative platform, we hope to advance music culture regionally and highlight these trailblazing creators who are inspiring future generations to create their own paths," she added.

The instrumental of the track was produced by PRAV and draws inspiration from movie soundtracks with a cinematic brass section along with strings and choir elements throughout different sections. This was done to lend an aspiring feel to the piece, and serve as the foundation for the artists to convey their stories and messages through their verses. Simultaneously, it serves to represent the struggle creatives often face in their pursuits and the dogged-minded ambition they possess to overcome challenges and emerge triumphant.

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