adidas wanted to tie even closer bonds to young, urban women through an exclusive, social running experience. The aim was to take marketing to unprecedented heights by creating Scandinavia’s first ELLE Social Run and to inspire, engage and interact with the runners. At the same time, adidas wanted to boost its presence on Instagram via influencers. And it wanted to do all this at Nordic level.


ELLE was chosen as an exclusive partner at Nordic level, as the brand is very strong on social media, it has a large network of influencers, its readers are trendsetters, and the ELLE brand would serve as a seal of approval for adidas.

In collaboration with adidas, the ELLE organisations in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland posted 15 ambassadors in each country among fashion bloggers, celebrities and ELLE’s own editorial staff. There were a total of 53 ambassadors: 15 in Denmark, 15 in Sweden, 15 in Norway and 8 in Finland. Neither ELLE nor adidas paid the ambassadors for their campaign involvement, and their participation and Instagram posts were voluntary. The 53 Nordic ambassadors took part in a number of activities, such as communal workouts, midnight runs and social runs, all the while they promoted their experiences on social media and wore outfits and shoes placed at their disposal by adidas. Overall, it was an innovative, commercial Nordic partnership where runners interacted with ELLE and adidas, assisted by the ambassadors, partnerships and social media. The campaign focus in Denmark was the “adidas x ELLE Copenhagen Run”, planned and executed by ELLE, Aller Mediesalg and the Aller event team, in close collaboration with adidas. Similar runs were held in Sweden under the title the “adidas x ELLE Stockholm Run”, and ELLE Norway engaged ambassadors and readers in workouts and other activities with adidas. The run is distinguished by focusing on the social experience (rather than on running against the clock) and by exclusively having only 100 participants. ELLE invited 85 lucky readers to participate in the run. The last 15 spaces were occupied by specially selected adidas ambassadors who were also retained for two special workouts in the lead-up to the run. To raise awareness of the run and adidas, native advertising was run concurrently on print and digital media, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. This included a competition and videos of workouts and runs with the ambassadors.


The “adidas x ELLE Copenhagen Run” was held on 15 June for 100 dedicated ELLE readers and ambassadors, all wearing running gear from adidas and engaged in the brand through various activities along the route.

The “adidas x ELLE Stockholm Run” was held at the same time, also for 100 readers and ambassadors. Participants were very satisfied with the run, which achieved an impressive NPS score in Denmark of 86, that was of course reflected in the favourable Instagram posts.

During the campaign, the ambassadors and ELLE readers frequently Instagrammed a total of 662 posts, under the campaign’s hashtag of #adidasrunnersxelle. Many of these posts were also shared on Facebook, which further boosted the campaign impact.

The 53 influencers involved in the campaign were responsible for 214 Instagram posts, received 32,557 likes and their posts had a reach of no less than 390,080 followers. The impressive Instagram results do not stand alone: converted into PR value, the influencers’ posts amount to an estimated EUR 285,333. Thus, the aim of boosting the adidas brand on social media was fully achieved. In addition to this, the Instagram posts of ELLE readers were viewed by an estimated 134,400 followers with 448 posts and 28,371 likes, which further boosted adidas’ Instagram impact. Total: exposure to 524,480 followers, 662 posts and 60,928 likes. In addition, the videos of the Danish runs were viewed 23,829 times.

As an extra bonus, the huge Instagram presence, together with the ELLE seal of approval, led to the creation of new adidas running teams with more ambassadors and readers, thereby enlarging the movement for adidas and serving as creative support for establishing adidas running communities in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki, including two physical running hubs in adidas’ key Nordic cities of Copenhagen and Stockholm.

The campaign won the gold medal in the “Best Use of Influencer” category at the 2016 Native Advertising Awards.


“Our cooperation with ELLE is based on a wish to provide a pleasurable experience to young women, to strengthen them and to create a running-based community among them. The great interest shows the great potential for notably running and for promoting a balanced, healthy workout trend. We see this among both influencers and runners, as well as the many running teams that have emerged as a derivative campaign result. The fact that we can team up with ELLE to inspire women to get passion, pleasure and strength from working out is just one more benefit. We of adidas believe that sports can change lives – and in this respect ELLE has been an important partner for us in engaging and involving young women and, not least, in communicating this message.”

VIDEO: adidas x ELLE Copenhagen Run