Adidas Brings an Inanimate Object to Life with @Brazuca

How a soccer ball took Twitter by storm

Open up Twitter anytime between now and July 13 and—I don’t care you who follow—you won’t be able to escape the World Cup. It’s extremely hard to stand out. Which is why I am particularly impressed with Adidas and its brilliant, well-executed @Brazuca concept. The Brazuca is the official ball of the 2014 World Cup. And it has its own Twitter account. The ball seems fine, but its personality—I know—on Twitter is what won me over.

The Brazuca is not just a product; it’s a celebrity. It exists. Just read its bio.

“I’m @brazuca. The official match ball of the 2014 FIFA #WorldCup. I tweet in English & Portuguese. Love me or lose me! Oh, and follow me. #ballin

And so this ball travels the virtual world, engaging athletes, celebrities, brands, and fans. Like Jozy Altidore.

And Pharrell Williams.

But it’s not merely a prop. It has personality and depth. For starters, it’s multilingual!

It’s self-aware, you see. Which adds a dimension that a normal product otherwise lacks.

It has desires.

It has memories.

It can feel sadness.

This is a more dynamic Twitter account than one typically encounters for an actual human-being. It’s no wonder it has more than two million active followers. It’s a legitimate personality that engages its audience. Adidas pulls out all the stops, providing the rich digital media to bring the Brazuca to life–from the social media staff that tweets thoughts along its journey to balls-eye footage (with plenty of help from Lionel Messi, Cafu, Luis Suarez, and other superstars).

As a fan of the beautiful game, I like the playful, adventurous, even adorable side of Brazuca. It’s almost like a dog I want to take home. As a media professional, I love the intelligence, focus, and humor that went into the planning and execution of this concept.