-ZenithOptimedia’s latest forecast predicts global ad expenditure will grow 4.8 percent in 2012, reaching $489 billion by the end of the year. link
-”Director-driven workshop” Tendril joined the roster of animation prodco Blacklist for U.S. commercial representation.
-Momentum alum Christophe Cauvy joined JWT’s London office as European head of digital & innovation.
-Just in time for March Madness, BBDO NY/Atlanta and AT&T have teamed up to launch a Facebook effort called “Brackets by Six Year Olds.” link
-Zambezi created the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James-starring spot for the Sprite “Uncontainable Game” campaign (above). The two superstars are apparently recruiting players from around the world to join their “teams” at next year’s NBA All-Star game.
On Christmas Day, the NBA returned after a 5-month lockout put the entire 2011-2012 season in jeopardy. The league’s shortened 66-game season kicked off with some very exciting games on Sunday which included a Chicago Bulls last-second come-from-behind win at the L.A. Lakers, perennial losers the L.A. Clippers looking unstoppable with the addition of point guard Chris Paul, and the Miami Heat avenging last season’s championship series by drowning the Dallas Mavericks. Also, we had Kevin Durant‘s disgusting shoes for some reason.
Of course, advertisers couldn’t be happier that America’s second most-popular professional sports league is back. Aside from media buyers rejoicing that prime time sports will continue well into 2012 after the NFL season comes to a close, creative types are giving a nod to the NBA. Above, NBA commentators Bill Walton, Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith, Spero Dedes and Jon Berry star in a new spot for Google+ from GS+P. The spot is one of three highlighting Google+’s “Hangouts” feature (the other two were created internally by Google Creative Labs), a critically adored but oft-ignored feature of the social network that has lost considerable buzz since its launch five months ago. Aside from the “Big Red-Head” and his buddies doing a very nice job commenting on an backyard game of hoops, the campaign features a spot that uses “Hangouts” to watch the Muppets rock out to David Bowie and Queen’s classic collaboration, “Under Pressure.” Like The Muppets (currently in theaters), it’s well-worth a viewing.
Also, we would be remiss not to give some mention to TNT’s epic opening day promo, “Forever,” which was directed by Sedna Films’ Drew Watkins. The above spot delighted NBA fans across the county (Kiran and I included) by pairing today’s superstars with legends of the game. Above, you’ll see the impossible become a reality, including Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant running out on court together, Brandon Jennings playing alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Jordan fist-bumping Derrick Rose to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ track “Live Forever.” Considering how upset and jaded NBA fans got over the course of the lockout, it’s stunning that TNT of all things was able to remind us why we love this game so much.
Three months after snagging Call of Duty duties from TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, 72andSunny has rolled out its new work for the Activision franchise, which from the looks of it, doesn’t drift too far from the gonzo, celebrity-driven approach employed by Chiat for Black Ops. But instead of Jimmy Kimmel and Kobe Bryant, this time we have Avatar‘s Sam Worthington and a slimmed-down, unlikely hero in Jonah Hill, who play vet and noob, respectively, as well as Superman himself, Dwight Howard. The spot, directed by Peter Berg and featuring the rather appropriate “Shoot to Thrill” from AC/DC, is just as over-the-top as the game play itself and dominated commercial breaks during yesterday’s NFL coverage. It’s something Michael Bay would surely approve of, but where does 72andSunny’s Call of Duty debut rank when it comes to video game ad of the year? Modern Warfare 3, by the way, hits shelves tomorrow.
Like it or not, Kobe Bryant is now the international ambassador of basketball. He’s probably not as recognizable overseas as Michael Jordan, but if he completes his second NBA championship three-peat this year, the comparisons between Kobe and “His Airness” will go on for decades.
While not quite suited to make a major motion picture with cartoons like Jordan (due to, you know, those rape allegations that happened a few years back), Los Angeles’ large market and Kobe’s 14+ years in the league make him much larger of a presence overseas than say, Lebron James. This Smart Car ad follows Kobe’s appearance in a controversial Turkish Airlines spot that aired earlier this month.
While Smart Cars look as those they would explode if ever in any sort of fender bender, Kobe’s driving and basketball-throwing skills save the day and an apparently priceless, ugly piece of art. I wouldn’t doubt Kobe keeps a basketball in his glove compartment should international art thieves try to ruin someone’s day. The most surprising factor? At 6’6″, Kobe can actually fit in one of those cars. Looks like Smart Cars are trying to position themselves as Mini Coopers did during car chase scenes from The Bourne Identity a decade ago. Pardon us if we’re a little skeptical about this.
We’re not sure if Kobe Bryant needed the paycheck, but the Lakers star nonetheless struck a two-year endorsement deal a couple of months back with Turkish Airlines, a decision that has since angered the Armenian community and especially the hundreds of thousands of those living in California. For those of you who have never opened up a history book, over a century ago, 1.5 million Armenians were murdered at the hands of the Turkish government, and since that time, Armenians have been trying to convince said government as well as the U.S. Congress to recognize the mass murder as genocide.
When Kobe’s deal to serve as “global brand ambassador” was originally struck back in December, the Los Angeles Times reported that outraged fans took to social media outlets and radio to protest the deal and even boycotted Lakers games and Bryant merchandise. The Black Mamba, who we think may not be suited to be the spokesman for social justice, seemed to be unaware of the implications, simply stating to CNBC back in December, “I’ve never been to Turkey. But all the guys on the team in the league who have been keep saying it’s one of the hottest places to go to … and it obviously makes sense with [Turkish Airlines] starting flights from L.A.”
Kobe’s ad will likely only increase his enormous global fanbase, but at what cost? Bigger question, was the ad above even worth all the hype/publicity? We think not, but whatever the case, we’ll lay off Mamba for a bit as he can’t seem to please anyone as of late. Check out a behind-the-scenes clip after the jump.
Clocking in at nearly six minutes, the Robert Rodriguez-directed flick features all the players from the teaser spots including Bruce Willis, Danny Trejo, Kayne West, and Kobe (of course). The short film basically consists of a pitch meeting between Rodriguez and Bryant, with the two going back-and-forth with ideas on characters, etc. Kobe needn’t stretch himself much acting-wise (and he doesn’t) as the supporting cast carries the weight and the Zoom Kobe’s take center stage throughout. It’s about as silly as you’d expect, but a decent enough diversion from the work day.
It looks like Kobe Bryant‘s getting the all-star treatment when it comes to hyping his Nike Zoom Kobe VI shoe. Now that R/GA’s supplied the Twitter-based component for the Black Mamba campaign, W+K is rolling out teasers for a “Black Mamba” film, directed by Robert Rodriguez (who also plays sound designer here), that’s set to debut in the U.S. and China during NBA All-Star weekend in February.
The Rodriguez imprint is all over the teasers, which seem inspired by the filmmaker’s recent flick, Machete, what with the overdramatic VO, action, explosions and fonts. Hell, they even star Machete himself, Danny Trejo, along with Bruce Willis and Kanye West for some reason. While we draw comparisons to Dwyane Wade’s nightmarish Nike spot from early last year, check out the initial Mamba trailer, credits and rather awesome promo poster after the jump.
They don’t call Kobe Bryant “The Black Mamba” for nothing. His ability to transform into a deadly force and strike without warning on the basketball court earned him the right to assume such a normally ridiculous nickname. Kobe’s “Mamba Moments” have never been extended beyond the game, though, until now.
Nike Basketball and R/GA have teamed up to emulate his transformation digitally through a website experience that changes the superstar from Kobe to Mamba through tweets. As Kobe’s tweets accumulate, the dark serpent inside him gradually grows until the beast is unleashed (kind of like Bill Bixby turning into Lou Ferrigno, we guess).
When the site reaches “Mamba” state, which is dependent upon a Twitter integration/algorithm that monitors the social conversations and automates the metamorphosis, users will have six-hour access to exclusive Kobe content and be eligible to win limited edition Kobe VI sneakers.
Just for kicks, check out a “Black Mamba” ad starring Kobe, Bruce Willis and Machete (talk about random) after the jump.
First off, let’s leave Kobe Bryant alone. Now, the Black Mamba’s getting so much crap for his role in TBWA\Chiat\Day’s spot for the new Call of Duty: Black Ops video game, which rocks–both the game and the spot, that is. People are forgetting one very important element. It’s only a GAME and Kobe doesn’t merit being called “a damned fool.”
Basically, everyone is having a huge fit over these types of videogames ,which allegedly are a bad influence on children and teaches them that violence is OK. Adults, please try and calm down. Your children aren’t stupid. They understand you can’t go around shooting people in real life. Give them a little more credit-but that’s the whole point, “It isn’t real life.”
It’s many a young lad’s dream to play soldier and right now the whole world is having fun playing because that’s all it is, PLAYING. I know Kobe is supposed to be a good role model to children and all that but he’s only human and the tagline for the game is a very insightful truth, “There’s a soldier in all of us.” What do you think? Does Kobe deserve all the criticism? Here’s the spot one more time below for you to view and decide.