Does Adidas wish it hadn’t turned Eugen Merher down?

The German film student envisioned a rather unsual storyline (no super-focussed athletes or beads of sweat or slo-mo sprints or medal celebrations) in his spec commercial for the shoemaker. A spec commercial? It’s a “fake commercial” that a ad-filmmaker pitches as a directional idea to prove to ad agencies and companies that they’re worthy of hiring.

Merher’s spec-spot, titled Break Free (video above), sells an out-of-the-box emotion of how anyone could relate to a pair of sneakers. It revolves around an elderly former German marathon runner who tries to break the monotony of his life by putting on a pair of sneakers and stepping out of his dull retirement home, but is not allowed to.

One day, though, his fellow residents help him break free.

Adidas turned it down, but the video has garnered over four million views in half a month.

On social media, the fake ad is new gold standard of what a real advertisement should be like. However, this thread on Reddit feels that the video does not fit into the brand image of a young and hip Adidas. Some have even imagined the situation realistically, wondering if the man was suffering from Alzheimer or Parkinson’s disease.

One YouTuber even imagined a different, “realistic” ending, which gave it a plot twist. Here’s the video.