Interviews

Harvey Cossell & Florian Alt

We Are Social & adidas

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor of BITE

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Harvey Cossell, Head of Strategy, We Are Social & Florian Alt, Vice President Global Brand Communications, adidas football

Harvey Cossell, Head of Strategy at We Are Social and Florian Alt, Vice President Global Brand Communications, adidas football

 

Creativebrief: For readers who don’t know, can you explain what Tango Squad is?

Florian Alt: TS is the adidas football community that will invite and welcome everyone who has an interest in football and wants to connect with like-minded people. Playing football is at the heart of it of course, but there are other elements to it as well that are important to that audience. Their standing within their local community, growing their expertise in football, becoming better players, gaining more “social fame” just to mention a few.

Creativebrief: Tango Squad has been running for a few years now. Why do you think it is such a success?

Florian Alt: Because it is born and based on a true consumer insight and desire. It is not something that adidas has come up with and therefore needed to persuade kids that this is the right thing to engage with. We asked and listened to the kids, understood what they are after and then built a platform and a program that will allow them to engage and grow where they want.

 

Creativebrief: Lots of brands grow their own influencer networks, what is it that makes adidas’ Tango Squad so unique?

Harvey Cossell: What differentiates TS is that when it started, the community members had very little influence, if any, outside a closed group. What we have done is nurture and grow that influence from within and then release it into the wider footballing fraternity. We have literally given kids the chance to become influencers in their own right and if they do it right, they can make a living out of something they are deeply passionate about - football. 

Creativebrief: What is the biggest challenge we face when transforming insights into action?

Harvey Cossell: Belief in your insight and understanding of your audience, whilst maintaining a cultural lens on that thinking is hugely important, but the biggest challenge you often face is that of time. Flo talks a lot about investment and long-term thinking. Unless a business is willing to invest in something properly over time, things can be very difficult to get off the ground let alone succeed. However, once you are up and running you need to have an always-in-beta mindset, whilst proving its contribution to the business and reminding people what the purpose of that work is and what it’s there to achieve.

adidas 'Tango Squad' by We Are Social
adidas 'Tango Squad' by We Are Social
 

Creativebrief: What makes a successful client/agency relationship?

Harvey Cossell: Openness, honesty and collaboration are hugely important in forging a relationship built on everyone understanding the skills and specialisms around the table. This ensures everyone is listened to with better decisions made for the good of the projects embarked on together. It really isn't any more simple or complicated than that, with more meaningful and insightful work often the result.

Creativebrief: What keeps you curious?

Florian Alt: We are always in beta and never finished. New technologies develop, kids shift focus and interest, there are new elements that we can add to the experience, constantly learning what works and doesn’t work and how we can improve or change those. And ultimately the positive response from our communities around the world and how much they appreciate a brand that gives them such opportunities and experiences that they sometimes wouldn’t even dare to dream about.

Harvey and Florian will be speaking at BITE LIVE 2018 about Tango Squad.

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