Builders Club creates a feast for the eyes in an oddly satisfying Adidas campaign

Difficult to tear yourself away from, the new campaign shows Builders Club flexing its many creative muscles in its busiest year yet.

16 October 2020


London-based design agency Builders Club has always had a knack for utilising motion to create whole new worlds. Across its work with Rimowa, Gentle Monster or its global rebrand of MTV, the agency has always managed to lift viewers seemingly out of their seats with its visuals. Its most recent project with Adidas does exactly this for the brand’s ZX design, “the mad scientist of the Originals family,” as Sophie Gunn, executive producer at Builders Club, puts it.

Builders Club has worked with Adidas on several projects, including its ambitious fully CG Adidas ZX China launch. “We have always loved Adidas and it is one of the most iconic sports brands in the world, so who wouldn’t want to work with them?” says Sophie on the brand itself. ZX, however, is a specific range within Adidas, ambitious in its “innovation, unexpected colour and design”. In turn, this campaign needed to communicate this visually, and suitably excitingly, to a new generation “through the world of ‘ZXience’, where they can escape logic to study the oddly satisfying experience of the shoe,” explains Sophie.

As a result, Builders Club was briefed with the excellent task of bringing “out the oddly satisfying feeling of the ZX tech”. To present these layers in their own equally fascinating storylines throughout the campaign, several techniques are utilised, incorporating CG and live-action, video and photography too, all to create “worlds and animations that utilise the unique ZX product attributes,” explains Sophie. Taking inspiration from the materials on the trainer described as “Boost and Flux” these were then pushed and pulled into their own satisfying worlds, “and so Boost balls, compression, jelly and liquid became our themes.”


Builders Club: Adidas ZX (Copyright © Builders Club, 2020)

Consequently Builders Club’s approach becomes clear in all encompassing campaign, developed by “squishing, squeezing and stretching things until they feel just right,” Sophie continues. Creating a film that audiences don’t want to look away from is no mean feat, but through experimenting “with the sole objective of satisfying the senses,” it’s proven to certainly be possible.

To create this “feast for the eyes” however, Builders Club focused its attention in two areas; lifestyle and product. They created three 15 second mixed media lifestyle films (one of which you see here) and three 15 second fully CG animated product films made using Cinema4D and Houdini. They also created over 30 different stills to accompany these. For the lifestyle films the two models were shot against green screen in a London film studio and then Builders Club combined this footage with their bespoke CG animated backgrounds. The stills were photographed in an adjoining studio at the same time as the live action shoot.

An experimental, smart and all encompassing project – not least when you’ve got to shoot during Covid-19 while communicating to a client hours behind in NYC – the campaign shows Builders Club flexing its many, many creative muscles. Always on the lookout for “the most interesting projects” its also a campaign which displays how the agency tries “not to define ourselves by the medium and we’re always focused on producing the best creative results that go beyond this, whether it involves a live-action shoot, CG or mixed media,” says Sophie. This year has also been a particularly busy one for the agency, finding that there was an increase in opportunities for full CG projects as in person shoots had to be paused. The studio has found, in turn, that it’s been their busiest year yet, even allowing them to expand their team: “We are optimistic and excited for the future.”

GalleryBuilders Club: Adidas ZX (Copyright © Builders Club, 2020)

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About the Author

Lucy Bourton

Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.

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