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The Adidas “Break Free” Advertisement Analysis Essay

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Updated: May 30th, 2021

Adidas “Break Free” advertisement tells a story about an elderly man trying to escape from a retirement home. The phrase “Break Free” at the end of the video is the only words in the clip, and the commercial uses the slogan to capture the attention of the audience and draw a parallel between the spirit of struggle for freedom and the product. The story is told by showing short silent scenes that are aimed to appeal to people’s feelings and create a strong emotional reaction.

The main character is an elderly man who used to be a runner when he was young. The man is being kept in a retirement home but is craving for freedom (Merher 00.00.00 – 00.01.00). The advertisement is effective because it successfully uses symbols and visual images to provoke emotions in viewers to attach a positive cultural value to the product.

The main character is believable, and his story creates a strong emotional response, making the audience sympathize with the man. It is achieved through the usage of scenes that uncover the personality of the man and his emotions. The clip shows that despite the age and limitations, the man has retained his spirit and the will to keep going forward. Not having access to any equipment, the man utilizes some things that can be found in a nursing home to exercises his body and makes multiple unsuccessful attempts to run away from the institution. Other characters only appear on the screen for just a few seconds, but they also successfully pass the desired message.

The retirement home personnel represents the oppression and the outside forces that want to stop a person from being free. It is shown by the way nurses act, trying to prevent the character from escape and indifferent emotionless looks on their faces. It culminates in the scene where a nurse metaphorically deprives the man from hope by taking away his old shoes (Merher 00.00.53 – 00.00.58). The capturing emotional story and believable characters make the advertisement stand out and increase the chance the audience will remember it.

The advertisement uses symbols and images that appeal to people’s emotions as a persuasive technique. The retirement home is shown as captivity that is created to stop a person from happiness. On the other hand, a pair of old shoes is an embodiment of hope for freedom and a chance to break away from the unwanted and unsatisfying situation, despite all the limitations and boundaries. By contrasting the opposite ideas, the video emphasizes the symbolic value that it is trying to attach to the product.

The ad associates the product with an active lifestyle, but does not express any components of social class, thus targeting a wider audience. The universality of the message makes it personally relevant for most people and provokes emotional reaction and response in a wide range of people, which is very beneficial for the promotion of the product.

The commercial is effective because it appeals to universal values that resonate with the audience. The authors successfully use images to make the viewers feel in a certain way. The believable characters make the story credible and make the audience empathize, pay attention, and remember what they see. By showing personal importance and history of the shoes for the main character, the commercial presents the product as a symbol of the struggle for freedom, success, and self-improvement. Thus, the ad achieves its primary goal of promoting the brand and the product, making it memorable and recognizable.

Work Cited

Merher, Eugen. “Adidas – Break Free”, YouTube, uploaded by Eugen Merher. 2016. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, May 30). The Adidas “Break Free” Advertisement Analysis. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-adidas-break-free-advertisement-analysis/

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"The Adidas “Break Free” Advertisement Analysis." IvyPanda, 30 May 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/the-adidas-break-free-advertisement-analysis/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Adidas “Break Free” Advertisement Analysis." May 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-adidas-break-free-advertisement-analysis/.


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IvyPanda. "The Adidas “Break Free” Advertisement Analysis." May 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-adidas-break-free-advertisement-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Adidas “Break Free” Advertisement Analysis." May 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-adidas-break-free-advertisement-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Adidas “Break Free” Advertisement Analysis'. 30 May.

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