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August 11, 2010

Foul-mouthed Kenny Powers already giving K-Swiss a nice boost

By T.L. Stanley on Wed Aug 11 2010

Allowing your spokescharacter to berate your brand hasn't turned out so badly for K-Swiss. At least, not yet. The marketer recently launched a multi-pronged campaign with actor/comedian Danny McBride in his obnoxious F-bomb-dropping Kenny Powers persona from the cult-favorite HBO show Eastbound and Down. In just a week, the video snippets of Powers yelling obscenities at K-Swiss execs and making outrageous suggestions for their ads have garnered upwards of 500,000 views. Stock price of the company is trending up, and sales are strong (though of course it's anyone's guess if the advertising is responsible for those last two). The campaign from agency 72andSunny for K-Swiss's Tubes athletic shoes puts Powers side by side with pro footballers Jeremy Shockey and Patrick Willis and mixed-martial-arts fighter Urijah Faber in clips on FunnyOrDie.com and YouTube. Fans on the Facebook page, with a Powers widget called the "Workout Wingman," have grown five-fold to more than 50,000. In-theater ads launch this Friday, which is fortuitous timing, as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and The Expendables are likely to draw flocks of young men (and presumably a lot of Powers aficionados) to the multiplex. Like the K-Swiss execs, they're not likely to be offended by a few swear words.

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