How to capture the attention of your target demographic at a highly important but ‘noisy’ time? That’s the challenge facing Adidas along with other brands during the World Cup. So what can Adidas teach us about social audience quality with its All In or Nothing campaign?

World Cup ad creative is second only to the Superbowl in terms of industry anticipation and this year offers the highest quality to date. Furthermore, it only happens once every four years. A lot can happen in terms of pop culture in that period.

The major players like Nike always deliver entertaining, memorable and sharable content. This year was no different with Winner Stays leaving the target demographic aghast as even the Incredible Hulk made a cameo.

However, while Nike’s creative idea was, in my opinion, far superior for sheer entertainment and ‘shareability’ value - crucial to winning the social media war, Adidas’ All In or Nothing concept offers something that is strategically brilliant, which excited me and bodes well for the campaign as a whole.

“CMOs are asking - who are our social fans? Are they really engaged?”

This is the biggest marketing campaign in Adidas football history. It is also arguably the most audacious from a digital/social perspective. When the YouTube viewer is finished watching Lionel Messi torment himself over nightmares on the pitch, they are asked to click one of two options: All In or Nothing.

Users clicking All In are offered the opportunity to instantly follow all the relevant social channels to the campaign. Those clicking Nothing are redirected (after a few ‘are you sure?’ screens) to a page that instantly opts them out of all World Cup-relevant Adidas Twitter feeds.

It asks an important question of the audience and raises even more important strategic questions for the digital marketing industry. What is the true value of a fan? Adidas claims consumers must “understand Adidas’ philosophy” and that a reduction in follower audiences is less of a concern as the brand focuses on “quality over quantity in its social media audiences.”

Who would disagree? However, quantitative KPIs continue to receive a greater focus/emphasis than qualitative metrics.

Adidas has shone a light on the elephant in the room. After years of ‘number growth’, CMOs are now asking - who are our social fans? Are they really engaged with our brand? How can we ensure the best possible quality?

This is a welcome and well overdue shift in thinking. Your agency or marketing department reporting back on an accurate declared interest in your brand/campaign will be challenging to implement but offers infinitely more value when embraced and demonstrated.

John Barton is managing partner and co-founder of TestifyDigital