Eugen Merher - if you haven’t heard his name, it’s time to learn it. This 26-year-old student of Germany's Film Academy, Baden-Württemberg, has touched, moved, and inspired us with his Adidas spec ad “Break Free”. Since debuting on YouTube on December 15th, it has climbed the charts to number 26, with 9,844,710 views and counting.
This tear-jerking spec ad will have you on your feet cheering with excitement as it tells the emotional story of an old man breaking free and finding his passion once more. As the story begins, the man is seen living out his days in a retirement home, rundown and exhausted by his mundane day to day life and limitations. The tone changes when the man discovers an old pair of his Adidas sneakers, reuniting him with his passion for running.
The spark in him ignites as the old man plans his escape from the facility. After multiple failed attempts, and even having his sneakers confiscated, with a little help and cheering from his fellow retirees he finally escapes, flying through the halls and out the exit.
In an interview conducted by AdFreak, Merher, who wrote and directed the spot, describes being inspired by a relative of his who had passed away. Although he was old, he continued to be full of life and loved to stay active. He would walk two kilometers every day to bring flowers to his wife.
Merher is a fourth-year film student, with this being his second spec ad. He chose Adidas after doing some research about the company and discovered that Adidas made a lot of the marathon gear back in the 1970’s. Although Merher reached out to Adidas several times offering them his spec ad, they chose to decline (perhaps a decision they are now regretting as the ads popularity grows).
“We tried sending it to [Adidas’] communications department but they didn’t really react,” said Merher, during an interview with the The Huffington Post.
According to the AdFreak interview, Merher filmed the spec ad in just two and a half days, with only a couple weeks of editing needed. The Baden-Württemberg Film Academy provides its students with means for success, giving them 1,500 euros, tech setup, crews and actors. Everything else the students must create and purchase themselves.
As described, Merher is extremely shocked and overwhelmed by the ongoing response that his spec ad has been receiving.
“I like the commercial, but I never expected it to get so much attention.” said Merher during an interview with AdFreak. “It just doesn't stop; I'm getting notifications all the time and I can't handle it.”
To see for yourself, CLICK HERE to discovery Merher’s inspiring story of Break Free.