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Plenty of Screaming Ensues in New LeBron-Focused Sprite Spot

Translation, which was recently tapped by Coca-Cola to handle marketing for Sprite, has a new spot for the green-bottled lemon-lime soft drink.

Although Sprite has changed agencies and approaches several times in recent years, this ad hits on well-trodden ground for the brand: LeBron James, basketball, and mentioning the word “thirst.” This time around there’s a lot of screaming, though. We open with LeBron James superhumanly blocking a dunk attempt and screaming in celebration. Then we see a marching band drummer “marching to his own beat,” a dude posting a video of some biking tricks, a guy with a lion tattoo, and a woman getting a truly bizarre haircut. All of them scream. Somewhere a silently screaming mime gets thrown in. “If you’re gonna put in the work to show the world who you are, you’re going to get thirsty. Then: drink a Sprite.” proclaims the voiceover, before adding in the tagline “For The Thirsty.” Reasonable enough logic here: lots of screaming will make you thirsty.

Here’s the thing though: soft drinks are actually terrible at quenching thirst. Why would you make that a selling point for your brand? Isn’t that playing to your weakness? Yes, it is a beverage, but it’s a sugary one made to be enjoyed for its taste, not to quench thirst. I get that they’ve gone with athlete endorsements aplenty to sell their product, and I get that this strategy harkens way back to their “Obey Your Thirst” days. But who is really reaching for a Sprite after a workout? Especially with the vast array of flavored bottled water drinks now available. Is marketing towards a function your product doesn’t actually serve really going to help sell your brand? I’ve never understood this. Who knows though, since Sprite is constantly changing their approach, maybe this tactic will die out soon as well. Credits after the jump.

Group Creative Director: Chris Valencius and Jonathan Graham
ACD: Jeff Blouin
ACD: Nate Virnig
Head of Production: Miriam Franklin
Production: Biscuit
Director: Andreas Nilson

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