LeBron may be a bit too excited about the playoffs in Nike ads

Posted on Mon May 18 2009

Is Nike trying to tell basketball fans something in its humorous new ads for the 2009 NBA playoffs? Let's see ... the spot features two puppets that represent an overly excited LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and a very cool, calm and collected Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron circles Kobe like a hyper child looking for attention, yelling: "Postseason, Kobe Bryant, get excited! Chosen one! Ohio, baby!" Kobe monotonously brushes LeBron off, saying he is excited, as he walks into a cloud of chalk created by LeBron (a reference to the latter's tradition of rubbing chalk on his hands before each game). LeBron goes on shouting "Playoffs, baby!" and random things like "$20 Chinese food! Make some noise, Kobe! Beef and broccoli!" That's when viewers get reminded that this is indeed a Nike commercial, as LeBron's puppet is shown wearing branded sneakers. The entire time, Kobe is disinterested in what's going on—I'm assuming because he has already won three NBA championships—until he finds himself sitting in piles of chalk at the end. Meanwhile, the only thing missing from this being a perfect year for LeBron is the championship ring. Perhaps Nike is implying that a pair of good sneakers could help him get it.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

MVP award will only stoke commercial fever for LeBron James

Posted on Tue May 5 2009

LeBron James is now officially the most valuable player of the National Basketball Association. Perhaps more important, he is now arguably the MVP of funny TV commercials. While most of Peyton Manning's ads (the Colts quarterback was the former ubiquitous top athlete adman) have now come and gone, LeBron's State Farm ads never get old. Not only did he star in one of the top spots in AdweekMedia's March Adness competition (as a supposed new member of the Cleveland Browns), his most recent State Farm spot continues to entertain. In the ad, burglars bust into his friend's truck and steal everything but a Kid 'n Play CD. (Perhaps it's extra funny to me because I too had thieves swipe everything in my car except for a John Cougar Mellencamp "cassingle," which they placed on my driver's seat to mock me.) Now, with the MVP honor bestowed upon King James, expect many, many more ads starring the Cleveland Cavalier.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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