What’s the deal with Kendall Jenner’s Adidas commercial? Why??

World premiere of 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets'

One of my biggest advertising irritants is when non-athletes are selected to be the “faces” of an athletic-wear brand. There are incredibly attractive athletes in America and abroad, and considering the huge amount of money Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Under Armour, Asics, Fila, and more spend on athlete-endorsements, it makes no sense for those brands to then go out and hire models or actors to become additional “faces” of their brand. Nike, for me, is Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Under Armour is Michael Phelps and Andy Murray. Etc. I don’t need Nike to hire Gigi Hadid for sh-t. The only exception I’ll make is for Rihanna’s work with Puma (Puma puts out Rihanna’s Fenty collection). But Puma also hired Kylie Jenner to be the face of their brand, which is SO gross. WHY?

Anyway, Kendall Jenner was recently announced as the new face for Adidas. Adidas has a stable of professional athletes, from tennis players to basketball players like James Harden, so why the f–k do they need Kendall? And why is she, like, the centerpiece of this new commercial?

Did Adidas learn nothing from Kendall’s Pepsi commercial fiasco? The idea was… I don’t know, something something Blade Runner, Mad Max, apocalypse chic, something something. James Harden is in there. So are Savage, Playboi Carti and Young Thug. Why are they in the Adidas commercial? I literally have no idea. Besides James Harden, are any of these people known particular for their athletic wear or sneakers?

officially joining the adidas fam! @adidasoriginals #adidasAmbassador #adidasOriginals

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Photos courtesy of WENN, Instagram.

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79 Responses to “What’s the deal with Kendall Jenner’s Adidas commercial? Why??”

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  1. lunchcoma says:

    I don’t mind non-athletes being in
    athletic wear commercials because I think we’re long past believing that most people buying those brands are getting things for the gym. The average Nike customer couldn’t care less about tennis.

    Kendall is as dull as dishwater, though, and I wish everyone would stop hiring her.

  2. minx says:

    WTF?! All the fit, beautiful male and female athletes out there, and they choose that boring vanilla clothes horse?

  3. Clare says:

    I would assume they use non-atheltes a huge part of their marketing is to advertising leisure/street wear, rather than sportswear. The Jenners/Hadids attract a different demographic than the Williams sisters – the number of American teenagers I have seen running around London/Paris this summer wearing adidas trainers – they are buying the Jenners/Hadids..not Kobe.

    • LadyMTL says:

      This is what I was going to say, that they’re probably targeting the athleisure customer more than the athlete, so they chose the models accordingly. Heck, I’m no millennial and even I have multiple pairs of sneakers (only one Adidas pair funnily enough) which I wear all over the place. Sneakers and athletic shoes aren’t only for exercising anymore, after all. :P

      • mp says:

        I just made a comment here about this, this is not regular Adidas (sports clothing), this is Originals, which is casual wear, even Pharrel has a collection with them, this clothes are not meant to be used as workout clothes, still they could have used someone better than this boring girl…

    • MrsPanda says:

      yep I was thinking the same – it’s for their streetwear segment & it’s all about Instagram followers too – she has over 80 million so they want that reach. The Kardashians/Hadids have a good social media game & that’s how you get the big endorsements (I couldn’t make it through more than 5 seconds of the clip, it was so cringeworthy!).

    • aenflex says:

      You are exactly right. This summer we’ve been to Rome, Amsterdam, London, Crete and Athens. With the exception of Crete, every other young person we saw in these cities was wearing Adidas or Nike sneakers. Skinny jeans and sneakers. Men and women. I think Adidas are super huge in Europe, my husband goes to Eastern Europe a lot for work and sees Adidas everywhere.

      I’ve never cared for them. I only wear sneakers to run, and Adidas are no good.

  4. Blue says:

    Two words: Lucifer’s Homegirl ®
    These days I just buy Ivy Park. That’s Beyoncé’s athleisure line. Its really good and at least Beyonce looks like she knows what jumping jacks and squats are (did any of you see khloe kardashian’s skit on Ellen?. Atrocious. It was basically Ellen calling out moves for her. For example Ellen says “Jumping jacks” and this girl started to bend down. For jumping jacks!! So yeah i dont believe this family).
    Beyonce has my dream body and also I’d be supporting and helping a mother feed her 3 children (lmaooo)

  5. Sarah says:

    The answer is: Millenials. More specifically, the answer is a management and marketing team that believe they need to increase their attraction among millenials and so turn to “influencers” with insta-access to tens of millions of them. ESPN viewership is way down. Professional sports attendance is down and interest in them among millenials is down. Hence, expanding the brand ambassador portfolio beyond athletes.
    Signed, someone who works for a large luxury brand that has this exact same issue.

  6. Maria F. says:

    it is also so repetitive . The same faces are being hired for every single brand out there, nobody comes up with an innovative and surprising face.

    Athletic wear for me is muscles & sweat, which I do not think Kendall represents at all. She looks skinny to me, but not toned.

  7. Bridget says:

    Adidas (and Nike, and Under Armour) is such a huge brand, they’re using different athletes and models to sell to different segments on the audience. Kendall Jenner isn’t going to rep and move the same gear that James Harden is going to sell. And in general, high level athletes are going to use gear that is significantly different than what folks just looking for some cool athliesure are going to use.

  8. swak says:

    OT – Did she take a scissors to that dress? Looks like she cut off the top and down the seams of the sleeves. I don’t mind non-athletes for athletic brands, but at least use someone who does more than just shop and “model”. At least use someone who is somewhat athletic. Many non-athletes compete in marathons, etc – use them instead.

  9. Tanguerita says:

    well, there went painful 90 seconds of my life.

  10. kimbers says:

    Teens and the NA (new adult) crowd are the most unoriginal out there. They’re so boring. Wish they’d be more exciting in what they do instead of just recycling past fashion and music and call it unique!

    • Lynnie says:

      While I wouldn’t say we’re the most unoriginal (everything gets recycled eventually) I do agree with you on the fact that we don’t know how to dress. I find that each sub-group has their “uniform” and just wear pieces that go with that vs. figuring out what they like themselves. It’s gotten to the point that I’ll go outside and see people wear the exact same thing down to accessories. Even the colors of the clothes are very similar since all the fast fashion stores decide they’re all gonna be using the same color schemes for their collections 🙄.

      I find the reliance on “influencers” in this day and age to be crippling as well. It’s like no one can make a move until they see how their fave celebs wear something, and that’s not what fashion is supposed to be. Probably doesn’t help that the same old heads at the helm of all these brands/institutions have been there forever. Idk, the industry needs some new blood and creativity asap.

      • Shannon says:

        That’s interesting. My older son is 22 and he and I could (and have) share clothes. I’m not calling him unoriginal. He’s off in college now and I’m sure he’s got music and such that just wouldn’t suit me and is unique to his age. But it surprised me that he never really did come out with something that shocked me or looked horrible to me. It seemed more like just an extension of our Gen X fashion.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Youth culture is dead. I am an older Millennial and I can’t relate to the youngest ones. When I was 15 and 16 I was going to see bands that were from the past like Radiohead and PJ Harvey. We had The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jill Scott and the Philly RB groups, old school hip hop, White Stripes, Peaches and I could go on and on. I have my old t-shirt collection to prove it. There isn’t any rebellious spirit or strong feelings about anything. They deserve boring models and images because they don’t demand anything different. My older siblings are cooler than a young millennial. Hell, my Mom is cooler than they are. I can’t imagine a Kylie or Black Chyna being anything but figures of mockery 20 years ago. I know generations preceding always have criticisms but I am more disappointed than anything.

      And get off of my lawn!

      • Crimson says:

        @magnoliarose – Lol. Your comments made me laugh. To be fair, one thing I notice about younger millennials that I admire: most do NOT like (to put it mildly) that guy sitting in the White House right now.

      • Erica_V says:

        Magnoliarose – I found a great article talking about a microgeneration of people born in the years 1977-1983 (although I’m 84 and feel i belong to this group too) called the Xennials.

        Basically defined as a subgroup of GenX/Millennials that had an analogue childhood and a digital adulthood and have multiple characteristics from both the Gen X generation and the Millennial generation. I took a quiz and my results were 9/10 you’re a Xennial and felt like YES finally these are my people!!

      • Steph says:

        Erica_V: I kept hearing this term recently and knew it had to be my “real” people… I am ’82 and am so not a millennial! I didn’t have a cell phone until 12 years ago and didn’t have Internet on it until five years ago. Thanks for the reminder. I am going to read up and hopefully feel like I have a group that feels like my people😁

      • magnoliarose says:

        Yes!!! That is me. I didn’t understand why I felt so apart from the label. I read some information about it and it is spot on. I encourage others who feel like generational misfits to look into this affirming term. We don’t have to be adrift any longer!

      • Blair Warner says:

        Xennial – is this not just a new name for Generation Y ?

  11. Lucy says:

    Although I see your point and think it’s valid, the problem (to me) is not so much that she, a non-athlete, is the face of a brand like Adidas. The problem here is that she doesn’t know how to model. As simple as that. Sure, she’s beautiful and model-like, but 99% of it all relies on her name.

  12. Lynnie says:

    Those basic white sneaks with the three black stripes are everywhere, and Addidas is now that brand people choose to wear for that “look at me I’m chill” athleisure look, so I’m not surprised that they chose Kendall to be the face of it for now. Puma tried to do the same thing with Kylie, but for whatever reason their clothes (besides Rihanna’s collection) haven’t really penetrated the normie world with the success Addidas has. I’m pretty sure the brand has always had a connection to rap via Run-DMC, so that’s why the rappers are in there.

    As long as athleisure stays a thing expect more non-sports spokespeople to pop up, because, outside the household athletes names, the target market they’re going for doesn’t know and doesn’t care about the underlying sports world. That being said I can’t wait til new fashion trends pop up entirely. This whole look is lazy and not visually striking smh.

    • Maple Girl says:

      But wasn’t Adidas always part of the norm? I wore Adidas stuff daily when I was a kid and that was 20 years ago.

      But then again, I am Eastern European and maybe the stereotype of us constantly wearing Adidas is true after all.

      • Lynnie says:

        Haha I’ve never heard of that stereotype, but it’s a funny and cute one if true.

        I can only speak for what I’ve seen in the U.S but Adidas was always part of subcultures such as the sneakerheads, urban/rap, and sports communities, but it wasn’t the brand of choice for your average Joe/Jane. Then athleisure started getting big a couple of years ago, and brands like Nike/Addidas (two of the sports brands that have made the biggest killing from this trend) started rising in the general public’s consciousness thanks to collabs, such as the Yeezys, and stars wearing their products to go with their “baddie” looks. It’s more of a norm now, but I think the true test will be if it’ll stay in the average closet when the stars wearing it switch to something else.

      • Sparkle says:

        Yes Maple Girl! Adidas originals has been a wardrobe staple here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for as long as I’ve been alive & i am 33. My parents’ generation wore adidas superstars back in the 1970s! (Adidas has Damian Lillard on the team, too. Rip city!!) That being said, Nike is still, and always has been, the top athletic brand. they also own the Jordan brand & Converse. Both companies are headquartered in my city, too! Yay for employee store passes :)

    • slowsnow says:

      Yeah, the rap I understand you’re spot on. My 16yo son loves Adidas and rap/grime but detests the Kardashians and doesn’t understand what they “do”. I think he’d find it off-putting to see her in the ad. But then again, as you say, these clothes have transcended the sports world. I have those pants for men with the stripes, use them all the time (and not oly for sports) and they are fab. Nevertheless, as I say below, I still find it slightly off-brand. The women who see herselves in her are not Adidas clients I believe. But this is only a UK perspective.

      • Lynnie says:

        I’ve always wanted to get the men’s version of some of their cooler pieces, but I don’t want to order the wrong size, and I have no stores near me to try them on 😢.

        I feel Adidas is trying to cement themselves as aspirational semi-luxury for her younger fans here in the US (the brand is a tad pricey for their income levels it’s no Forever 21). It depends on the pull Kendall has, but I can see some of her fans who think they’re baddies/subversive going for it. At the very least Forever 21 will just create more copies of the collection thanks to the heightened attention she’ll be bringing it which I guess is influence lol.

      • magnoliarose says:

        The K family don’t translate into sales for some products and I can’t see her making a difference here either.

  13. slowsnow says:

    To me she emulates the 40yo very wealthy women trying to look 20 with their plastic surgeries and buying Chanel, Vuitton etc. So it makes sense that she makes ads for the brands that have those kinds of clients.
    I don’t quite understand her target audience in relation to Adidas.

  14. Alleycat says:

    The thing is she has millions of followers, but that doesn’t translates to sales. Her Estée Lauder line was discontinued. This is really her only big account if you compare her to someone like Bella or even Gigi. Teenagers may follow her, but they aren’t buying anything because of her.

    Also, she looks just like Kris in that instagram video, holy crap.

  15. Jamieee says:

    She’s not a good choice of model, but using a model instead of an athlete makes perfect sense. These aren’t just brands people wear to the gym. They make a massive and ever-increasing amount of money off of customers who couldn’t care less about any kind of sport, and are buying purely for fashion.

    I wouldn’t have looked twice at Puma before Rihanna came on board, because the Puma I remembered just made boring sensible trainers.

  16. Fiorucci says:

    She does look good in the suit! Not impressed with her acting though

  17. MC2 says:

    She most definitely did not did it “my way”. Not a great spokesperson for a message like that.

  18. syd says:

    Adidas has Messi.

    What on earth are they doing hiring dullard Jenner?

  19. Ana says:

    Why don’t they only use athletes for their brands? Because they don’t want to send the message that Adidas is ONLY for athletes. “Anyone” can be sporty with Adidas! That’s basic marketing.

  20. nikzilla says:

    A hip hop artist makes more sense than KJ. i think i’ll quit buying from Adidas for a little while as protest. Dumb.

  21. mp says:

    I mean ugh with this girl…whatevs, but this is ADIDAS ORIGINALS, which is different than adidas, right? Like this is casual wear (sportsy but casual), so i guess that’s why they can use other than sports figures (still I would like to see someone cooler), I think even Pharrel had a collection with them.

  22. Tryannosarahs says:

    It’s like… the director just said “hey what if we did like… Alien and Mad Max Fury Road but with like…. an Egyptian oasis and iconography that we swear we didn’t steal from Stargate. But we aren’t done, we will throw a Jenner in there and Sell SHOES!”

    There is literally NOTHING original about this ad. Nothing.

    And they have the a audacity to use the tag line “original”.

  23. Old Wine Box says:

    Forget Kendall, there is a whole lot of strange symbolism going on in that Adidas ad, it’s too much. It didn’t feel like it was trying to sell me athletic wear.

  24. teacakes says:

    I suppose I’m an older millennial and if anything, I’m very likely to be turned OFF a brand by Kardashians or surplus Kardashians (they don’t deserve to take up my brain space with their names) endorsing it.

    I put my beloved green Puma Suedes away while they had the blowup doll-looking one’s picture in their ads, and even though I love my Adidas trackie bottoms and jacket I’m seriously wondering if that outweighs the full-body cringe I have at the thought of wearing anything these girls endorse.

    • Kitten says:

      IDK I just bought a pair of pink dri fit Adidas running shorts that I absolutely adore. Those things aren’t going anywhere, although I admit that I don’t pay attention to celeb endorsements. That sh*t really has zero impact on what I buy/don’t buy.

      It does suck that it’s Puma and Adidas though–two old school brands traditionally associated with hip hop culture–that are using Kartashies as their endorser-of-choice.

      • teacakes says:

        @Kitten – exactly, those brands are old-school and have enormous reach in their own right – they don’t actually need to pander so actively to social media to this extent. And it sucks that these are the brands doing it.

        I’m not a big one for celebrity endorsements either, but in this case I end up feeling like the Kardashian trash stench will attach itself to even my favourite jacket – I really, really do not want to wear anything that suggests their influence, even if I did it first.

      • Kitten says:

        I think that’s a good call because this family really is a cancer on our society.

        Now that I have my pink shorts maybe I’ll follow your lead :)

    • magnoliarose says:

      I am the same. I won’t support anything they advertise or are associated with. The entire family and their satellites are revolting to me. They put the death knell in the coffin of The Met Gala and Anna Wintour has cheapened her reputation with them since I can’t stop them from trashing pop culture I can make my protest for my own peace of mind.

  25. Amide says:

    I already said that Pepsi commercial won’t hurt her in the long run.
    We are now in a world of fast food news and 24/7 outrage culture.
    She’ll keep getting big name jobs and bet you the narrative’ll be written as a positive for Kendall, 2 years from now.

  26. Frigga says:

    Garbage. I don’t care if models model athletic wear, but it’s more convincing when they are actually fit and strong looking. However, it makes sense to advertise with athletes. Instamodels campaigning for athletic wear just seems kind of lazy.

  27. teacakes says:

    I can’t wait for the day when she finally overdoes the facial tweaks and even the most desperate-for-likes fashion brands and magazines finally take a look at those dead eyes and say ‘nah, not in our campaigns/on our covers’.

    And wasn’t her Estee Lauder line discontinued in a year? So much for the supposed power of her fanbase, or her ability to generate actual $$$ for a legit brand.

  28. serena says:

    Another stupid ad, well they must really be blind to hire Kendall Jenner to do tv commercials.

  29. MissMarierose says:

    Her dead eyes really creep me out. That, more than anything, is what kills her as a spokesmodel, imo.

  30. Impromptu says:

    This commercial exults in stereotypes — why does anyone think she can sell anything? She is like a Snow White who wakes up without a scintilla of personality.
    The glass coffin is apt.
    She is hopelessly miscast comically so this time.

  31. Shannon says:

    I found the commercial itself kind of grating, but I can see why they’d have her in the commercial. She’s got a big following; it doesn’t include me, but whatever. People who aren’t athletes do buy sneakers and Adidas, so … ?

  32. IsThisReal? says:

    Kendall never got off her back. They must have cut all the footage of her moving. lol

    This is a terrible video. And the sad part, the performers look great. EXCEPT for one major female.

  33. mylene-montreal says:

    They don’t care about the folks who thing its a non-sense to hire kendull jenner. They know how much visibility they will have. Every move the kardashian-jenner made is publish everywhere so everybody want them only for the visibility.

  34. NeexKC says:

    The ad was insufferable regardless of who was in it. My way spoken word? Nope.