Launching the world’s most iconic leather boot not on how it looks, but how it feels.
adidas’ most traditional football boot looks to the future with redesign.
The COPA Mundial is perhaps adidas’ most recognized football boot. But, with younger players opting out of the traditional leather look and feel and instead going with synthetic shoes that are lighter and more climate-resistant, the COPA franchise had fallen behind.
Pictured right is the COPA Mundial before redesign
adidas redesigned the boot, inspired by human anatomy with the leather stitching pattern reflecting the human fingerprint. The futuristic, modern design is what inspired our launch activation; AREA 19.
Because of the radical redesign, we felt we couldn’t simply launch the boot into the world like a traditional boot. Much like a movie, this football boot needed its very own trailer.
So we blacked out the boot to conceal most of the shoe’s features and then had pro-player and rising star Paulo Dybala unveil the shoes in a match against Man United in the Champions League.
Inscribed on the boots was the AREA 19 logo and the date of the launch activation.
News about the boot began to pick up as football fans tried to decode the message on the boots and learn about what AREA 19 could be.
And that’s just how we wanted it to be: secretive.
And the next day, in an undisclosed location in Milan, we welcomed a select group of influencers, writers, and press to our AREA 19 Test Facility where they would be put through various stimulating experiences aimed at assaulting the senses, to provide an abstract and in-depth look behind what inspired the COPA 19, and how it feels to wear it.
WELCOME TO AREA 19: COPA TEST FACILITY
After going through orientation, guided by an autonomous AI named K.A.Y., guests made their way into the decontamination room where they put on the AREA 19 attire and took off their shoes, which would remain off for the remainder of the experience, allowing guests to push their senses.
Then guests began their journey through the COPA Test Facility, traveling through three distinct sectors designed to assault your senses and provide through the abstract, the feeling of wearing the COPA 19 boots.
Pictured Below: The hallway to Sector One: Soft Pods
before arriving at sector one, guests were taken through an exploration of how the facility was going to use their senses to explain the science behind the copa boot.
SECTOR ONE: SOFT PODS
In Sector One, we took guests through an abstract representation of the adidas Soft Pods that allow players to instigate in any condition. Guests waded through the enlarged foam balls that represented the Soft Pod technology. While they are doing this they are still barefoot, experiencing the Soft Pod support on their bare feet.
SECTOR TWO: FUSIONSKIN
The biggest downside to leather boots is that they absorb water when they get wet, making the push for synthetic shoes that dry quickly more attractive to younger players.
And for the first time in adidas history, they had not only made the first ever laceless leather boot; they also made it water resistant.
To prove this we created a rain room that used motion sensors to react to movement allowing guests to walk underneath without ever getting wet, while everywhere else it rained.
SECTOR 3: MISSION CONTROL
Finally, we led guests through MISSION CONTROL, where they were able to see the COPA 19 boots for the first time, try them on, and even test them out in a small obstacle course.
Guests were also able to interact with Dybala, and learn more about the COPA boot franchise through an interactive exhibit that highlighted the many variations of the boot throughout its storied past.
Agency: Johannes Leonardo
Jono Flannery, Creative Director
Paul Gregory, Creative Director
Tommy Woods, Copywriter
Jacob Mehringer, Art Director
My Role: Building Concept + Art Direction
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