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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jordan’

Google, TNT Welcome Back the NBA with New Spots

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.

No Worries, Bikinis Still Remain in Carl’s Jr. Southern-Flavored Spot

Yes, that does appear to be the guy who gets dissed in that Michael Jordan Hanes ad from last year, but now he’s the star of this latest Carl’s Jr. effort from David&Goliath that promotes the chain’s “Made from Scratch” biscuits. The mustachioed stranger in the ad above emerges from the sand and interrupts some SoCal beach revelry with his over-exaggerated drawl and basketful of buttery treats. We guess his intrusion, though, is not as egregious as Carl’s Jr. actually trying to convince people that they make biscuits like those scrumptious ones from the south. Could we just bring back Olivia Munn already? Credits after the jump.

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Kobe Bryant Fights Crime with Smart Car, Basketball

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.

Here’s the Inevitable LeBron/Michael Jordan Ad Mashup

No matter your opinion on Nike and W+K’s “Rise” spot featuring Lebron James, you more than likely had some sort of reaction to it. The ad was interesting enough, or at least quotable enough, to spawn a wealth of parodies including South Park’s own shot at Lebron’s “excuses.” In fact, when the series’ anti-hero Eric Cartman tries to use the “What should I do” rhetoric on his superhero friends, they simply respond, “You should fuck off.” Ouch.

When LeBron James skipped college to join the NBA, many were skeptical if someone being touted as the “greatest ever” should skip an NCAA basketball career. After all, Michael Jordan went to college, and ended up winning the University of North Carolina an NCAA title while he was there. As James quickly became one of the NBA’s elite players, the comparisons to Jordan kept coming, which James embraced by getting “Chosen One” tattooed on his back. Of course, when after years of failure with the Cleveland Cavaliers, James opted to join the Miami Heat’s new “super team” as opposed to sticking it out with his old team, the comparisons turned into sharp criticisms.

History tells us that James’ move was the exact opposite of his hero’s. While Jordan’s Bulls suffered years of playoff losses at the hands of the Detroit Pistons, Jordan didn’t join a “super team” with friends Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Instead, he stuck it out with the team that drafted him, netting six NBA championships in the process. Jordan’s own brand couldn’t create an ad like this taking on their parent company Nike, though Jordan has spoken out against James in the press. But, this remix with an older Jordan brand commercial works well enough, and you can visualize #23 speaking directly to the former #23 in the closing lines, “Maybe, I destroyed the game. Or, maybe you’re just making excuses.” Game: Jordan.

Kobe and Jordan Together, But Only in a Videogame

We’ve covered the first two spots in this campaign so might as well complete the trifecta with this lighthearted, somewhat surprising spot for NBA 2K11, starring the best in the game today (IMO), Mr. Kobe Bryant.

Even the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is excited to play as or alongside the iconic Air Jordan in this well-received game. But as Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie blog points out, the shining moment might be Kobe’s smirk when Shaq makes a cameo.

More: Kobe: The Ultimate Closer in VitaminWater’s Eyes

NBA 2K11: As Good As the ’95-96 Bulls

Andre Iguodala, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Josh Smith and Russell Westbrook are back in this new spot for NBA 2K11 from 72andSunny, Robot Films and director Chris Robinson (yeah, we’re hyped for the NBA season to start, so sue us). Since our last encounter with these pro ballers, they’ve moved on from idolizing Michael Jordan but are still fixated on the Chicago Bulls of old.

The first spot was funny and the athletes did a great job with their acting skills as they also did in this spot so why not keep it going?

More: Halo: Reach vs. Halo 3: Does It Measure Up?

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