Posts Tagged ‘Basketball’

Nike — U.S. Olympic Basketball Team and Marvin Gaye

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

sjbooher: Love it. Taking clips of what (Marvin Gaye’s performance at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game) is regarded as the greatest rendition of the national anthem of all time and combining it with shots of Team USA practicing? Brilliant. These guys have worked for 3 years — and arguably their entire lives — to ensure they have an entirely different rendition of the Star Spangled Banner forever ingrained in their memories — the one playing during the Men’s Basketball Medal Ceremony. While this long version borders on AEM, there is a succinct 30 second version that is airing throughout the Olympics, which still gets the point across. I’m also a big fan of the iconic “Just Do It” tagline, which this spot uses at the end. My only criticism is that Nike could probably have spotted their product a little better, but in this case, advertising the team is essentially the equivalent of advertising their company. I’m a hopeless basketball/music romantic, and this ad was made for me. A.

jtherkal: Nike–aka W+K–has a real thing for finding some footage, putting a song to it and calling it a commercial. Granted, there’s a bit more to this concept than that. And their string of outstanding branding practices have enabled them to throw this formula out there and have it succeed time after time. But this one doesn’t quite do it for me. I don’t know if it’s the wrong shots, if it’s too long, if it doesn’t really look like they’re busting their asses, but surprisingly, something fails to give me the chills or get me fired up, as so many Nike ads do. It’s still not bad. B-.

In related news, I interviewed some of these guys in Vegas while they were getting ready for the games. I’m famous. SJB had practice access–we’re both famous! The highlight was asking Tyson Chandler how he sleeps in hotel beds when he travels, does he order giant beds? Put a rollaway at the bottom if a normal one? The answer: Curled up on his side, just like me. The other highlight was that Jason Kidd’s girlfriend had a BANGIN’ body. You could almost see her goodies when she bent over the Kraft services table to get some candy. Coach K has a foul mouth.

Coca-Cola — LeBron and Yao Olympic Unity

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

sjbooher: One of the biggest events of this Olympic games was the USA v. China basketball match-up. Coke took advantage of that by combining two of the biggest stars in the world this spot. It’s creative, awesome, fun, visually pleasing, and the feel good story of the year, at the end. Of course I love Coke, basketball, LeBron James, Yao Ming and the Olympics! Still, this is well done. I do have to stay true to my principles, I guess, and dock it slightly for the late product placement. A.

jtherkal: Fun, positive, big name stars, good music, fun animation, timely release–Coke knows what it’s doing. I want to eat egg rolls, drink a Coke, and dance to that song. Mission accomplished. Maybe the USA and China can unite to oppress other nations and conquer the world. If only they’d agree to capitalism and stop the “one and done” child rule, we’d be golden. A.

Sprite — Falling Away

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

jtherkal: I know what you’re thinking. This should be filed under All Time Favorites, since it’s so old. But no. I still see this ad all of the time. At this point, the only thing I think when I see it is “they’re still running this?” It’s time for some new advertising Sprite. I like you, but you have to make me want you. Also, your new silver can design makes me think regular a Diet Sprite, and for that reason I often go for a Dr. Pepper instead. Originally I liked this. Dog days of summer, splaying sports with friends, nothing like a refreshing swim in a basketball court to cool off. Get a new ad. D.

sjbooher: I have seen/heard this one a ton of times, yet I could not have associated it with a product, prior to this close examination. They spell it right out in the ad, but I guess for some reason I do not pay attention to it. I feel like I like it, but the results speak for themselves. D.

Jordan Brand — Maybe It’s My Fault

Friday, April 25th, 2008

sjbooher: Remember how I mentioned that the dialog in the NBA split-head ads seemed scripted and forced? This is the exact opposite. Did MJ write this script while smoking a stogie and playing cards at the 19th Hole? I wouldn’t put it past him… but probably not. Does it sound like it could be an inspirational, from the heart speech he might give at the end of some camp for high schoolers? Definitely. Jordan Brand gets it right over and over again. They convey an image of superiority… of greatness… that you just want to be a part of. A+.

jtherkal: It’s hard to go wrong when Jordan is the voice of your brand. And your brand is actually his brand. He’s a proven winner and you instantly associate greatness with the product (except for Hanes, which somehow has managed to develop a “silly underwear” personality with Jordan and Cuba). It’s a good reminder that behind every great player is determination and drive and hard work. I sort of understand using the imagery they used, with no footage of him actually playing, but couldn’t they have found some training footage? Shooting free throws after hours in the gym? Anything? We want to see Jordan in action. A-.

NBA Playoffs — Split heads

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

sjbooher: I love the idea… but I think I only like the result. I have a couple problems. First, Kobe vs. Shaq is soooooooooo 2004. There are so many storylines in the Western Conference Playoffs this year, that it seems weak and lazy to try and drum up more Shobe controversy. My second problem is with the LeBron/KG edition… well, I just realized it is not as much of a problem, after re-listening. I thought they both said “I remember seeing Bird win it all”, but after listening closely, LeBron says “Jordan”. Still though… this version is obviously scripted, since they would not both have nearly identical quotes, and I bet they forced KG to say “Bird”, just because he plays in Boston now. He is fo sho a Jordan baby. Anyway, they could have put up a black screen with “NBA Playoffs” written on it for 30 seconds, and I would have been excited, but the NBA did not reach the full potential with these. B.

Now, jtherkal, say it with me one time… PLAYOFFS?!?!?!?

jtherkal: Yes! Don’t talk to me about playoffs! Kobe was on PTI yesterday and they asked him about this, which was kind of funny. But sjb is right, let Shaq and Kobe go. The only way I’ll care about that now is if Shaq would actually go Incredible Hulk on Kobe. HULK SMASH KOBE! These ads were alright, but kind of forgettable. There is so much drama in the NBA, as my associate said, specifically out west, and these don’t really capture that. Probably a clever idea on paper, but falls flat in execution. C.

And just for fun, my all time favorite press conference:

We talking about practice?!

Sheraton Ad — Rival Love

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

jtherkal: This ad is disgusting on several levels. First, any time I see someone wearing Ohio State apparel I want to throw up. I understand the point of the commercial, that Sheraton hotels makes enemies get along. But guess what? It doesn’t. I would have spit on that OSU fan. Aside from that, there’s something just not good about this. It feels soft and forced, if that makes sense. Something about the direction of it sucks. Although it’s probably dead on for the personality of Sheraton. Vanilla, plain, trying to be cool, but just not. D-.

sjbooher: For me, the worst part is that they tried to include both the rivalry taboo, as well as the “man-on-man interceptions” taboo (Joe Duke guy touches Johnny Carolina’s hand and Dr. Syracuse rubs the ranch off Mr. Georgetown). It sends a mixed message. So Sheraton makes you overcome your sports hatred, but not your homophobia? I think it was a good idea that was not executed well. Also, I’ve seen it countless times over the past month, and had no idea, until right now, which hotel was being advertised. That just pushed you to F status, Sheraton. Or was that Holiday Inn? I’d probably remember if I had stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night! F.

WAW: AT&T — Chuck Shooting Baskets

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

sjbooher: Wow (and WAW). Could this character have been any more ridiculous? Chuck has uncombed hair, an unshaven face, and an awful looking football jersey on. Then they have him shooting baskets and shouting like an ABSOLUTE FOOL. No one acts like that in real life — only in some stupid white man’s mind do people act like that. Absurd. Imagine seeing this ad on 10 different screens in a Vegas sports book for an entire weekend, over-and-over again — that’s how I was introduced to it. Terrible. F-.

jtherkal: Well, I was getting tired of the AT&T bars campaign (where they coordinate everything in the background to look like the bars on your phone) so this is, at the very least, different. This was the worst of the series (rock’n'roll guy, snooping dad, japanese business meeting)–borderline offensive. Maybe because Chuck was waaaay overacting. If you’re going to have him playing pop-a-shot, at least have him really trying. He wouldn’t have made any of those shots. Overall, the concept isn’t that great and I don’t even believe one company can claim to have significantly better service. It’s all pretty decent now, but still cuts out in areas. D.

TMobile — Wade & Barkley — Statue

Monday, March 17th, 2008

jtherkal: BEHOLD! The first irateads-branded ad posted on YouTube. And the ad just happens to be from one of my associate’s favorite campaigns. Ever since Charles let Dwayne into his top five, I’ve been a fan. This might be my favorite yet. “They have a statue of Rocky, and he’s not even real.” Classic. A.

sjbooher: This one doesn’t make me laugh out loud, like some of the others, but who am I to hold my sense of humor as the end-all-be-all? A.

Where Steve Nash Happens

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Here is the Steve Nash spot from the NBA’s “Where Amazing Happens” campaign. It cleverly uses the car’s navigation lady to detail Steve Nash’s path to success. A good idea by the NBA to use one of their most popular and marketable (meaning white) players. I love this one, although I can that it may fall under the “what the hell was that advertising?” category. B.


I love Steve Nash, but I don’t like this commercial much. I don’t think using that navigation system to tell the story is all that clever–although it works with “where you have arrived happens.” I hate that robot navigation voice in cars and this doesn’t really do anything to diminish that. “You are now receiving your 2nd MVP” is possibly the worst line. The style is interesting, but doesn’t seem to match the character of the NBA or the other spots in this campaign. C-.

NBA, Where Amazing Happens: A

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

“Where amazing happens.” What a great, outstanding line. Something about it sounds wrong, which makes it all the more…amazing? A great example of how much you can do with a simple, true idea and great writing. Where never meant to happen happens. Where amazing happens. Where amazing happens. Where amazing happens! I love saying it. Say it with me. Where amazing happens.

The Hawk:

My first reaction to The Mouth liking this saying so much was negative at best. I thought it was too corny and cheesy. However, the more I think about it, it’s not the tag line I don’t like, it’s this particular ad. It is too over the top with the piano music… almost a self-righteous type feel. I bet Mike Breen loves this one. The exploitation of the afro doesn’t help my opinion, either. I much prefer the individual player ads that go along with this campaign. Continue reading the next few entries for the reviews of those…

C for this one.