Adidas Uses WhatsApp As the Vehicle for Direct Marketing

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Adidas finds a new lucrative way to reach their audience

Adidas is making the move away from social media ads and towards more one-to-one communication by using WhatsApp for direct marketing. Despite Facebook’s decision to halt plans for advertising on WhatsApp, Adidas is still gaining traction through the messaging platform. 

Halts Facebook Video Ads

In 2018, Adidas stopped purchasing video ads on Facebook due to questioning their visibility. Along with several other brands, Adidas noted a lack of transparency when advertising through Facebook. This caused the company to withdraw ad spend on Facebook and invest in other digital platforms.

Growing Influence Through Direct Messaging

Since their withdrawal from ads on Facebook, the brand has utilized WhatsApp. This has led to relationships with influential people in smaller groups. It has created a sense of growing influence rather than needing to buy it. 

The influence groups have given the brand the ability to build a community with users across the world. It has impacted the way Adidas communicates and the strategies they use. In the recent campaign “100% Unfair Predator,” Adidas sponsored football players to play for teams who needed substitutes for unreliable teammates. Through a Whatsapp hotline, teams can submit details about their games directly to Adidas.

By the time the team was given a player, Adidas had already had a direct conversation and gathered information. These people would later have the possibility of being added to groups for exclusive events or gear. According to Digiday, the use of direct messaging has resulted in relationships with influencers that have even become salespeople for Adidas.

Messaging apps as a Marketing Channel

James Whatley, of Digitas, explained the power of direct messaging. Whatley cited that DM will have higher open rates than email. Stats show that messaging platforms are becoming the dominant way individuals are communicating on mobile devices. 

In fact, the number of messaging app users grew by 12.1% in 2019. Marketers have the opportunity to optimize relationships and grow their influence through new forms of direct marketing. Doing so successfully can create a new wave of brand recognition and increased ROI.

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