How do you take a globl campaign initative and make it really stick in one of the world’s largest consumer markets? Adidas seems to know… The company is gaining on Nike’s top spot, reporting 6% revenue growth in Greater China in the first quarter of 2013, following 15% growth there in 2012. Analysts credit Adidas fashion apparel like high-heeled sneakers coming from sub-brands such as Originals, NEO and Y-3.

So how did the latest campaign spark such success? Tailor the campaign to a largely untapped market: Asian Women.

To start, the Adidas China team made strategic tweaks to the global “All in for My Girls” marketing platform, choosing as campaign ambassador Taiwanese pop star Hebe, who is stick-thin, as are the other women featured in the visuals. It was a deliberate choice reflecting Asian ideals of beauty. There isn’t a drop of sweat visible as cute, smiling women rock climb, dance and hang out in the gym. It’s a stark difference from the way sports are marketed in the West, often with sweat and six-packs.
Adidas’ target audience in China “were doing sport with a desire to do it together with their girlfriends … they wanted to laugh and have fun,” Jens Meyer, VP-marketing, sport performance for Adidas China said. “Sport was as much about going to the gym as the coffee afterward.”

Adidas notched 40% growth in its women’s business in China after the “All in for My Girls” campaign launched in March.
Read more about this campaign at Ad Age.