THE SPORTIN’ LYFE
Commercials centering around sports have always been some of the most ground-breaking and interesting ads in the industry. I’ve covered spots from Jordan, Nike, adidas, Reebok and AND 1, to name a few of the athletic outfitters that have morphed into true lifestyle brands in present iterations. The intersection of pop and athletic cultures have made for some incredible synergy, resulting in some of the best spots in the game.
adidas Applies the Pressure to RG III
When the new adidas ad featuring Washington Redskins phenom Rookie of The Year Robert Griffin III aired, it had people looking at each other quizzically, in that “What you talkin’ bout, Willis”?, did-we-just-see-what-we-thought-we-saw way. After suffering a gruesome injury, does adidas think creating a spot where shit is literally blowin’ up in over half of the visuals is the right way to go?
The commercial, done by 180LA, features athletes going through their off season workouts but centers on RGIII – braids flowin’ and all a’glistenin’ – working feverishly to get himself back on the field for his sophomore stint after blowing out his knee kinda like type-ugly in this year’s playoffs.
It didn’t look good for dude.
So here he is, just a couple months later, in a commercial where everything is blowin’ up – literally – from the field to trophy cases and even the coliseum itself. But why?
“Blow Up – All In For Week 1”
Not a good look.
Really, if I was a Redskin fan (Ha! Blasphemy! NY Football Giants. All. Day.), the all too obvious metaphorical reference to Griffin doing basically the same thing to his knee would have my burgundy and orange panties is a bunch ( I couldn’t resist, Skin fans). This could be on a Madden Cover Curse level, people.
Since the spot has aired his doc, the famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, head coach Mike Shanahan and RGIII himself have all weighed in, with the coach & player sending not too subtle shots in each others direction.
RGIII has since backed off his near-guarantee of being on the field for opening day. Good for him. Being back on Day 1 is moronic if he’s gonna jeopardize his future in the slightest, which is amazingly bright if son learns when to run and how to slide .
Bottom line, it’s bad enough that the kid went down like a shot a deer, but you’d think his people would’ve shut the whole thing down, tagline, pyrotechnics, everything just to stay away from anything casting negative aspersions and overt team/corporate pressure on him to comeback at 100%.
As his primary brand partner, adidas fumbled this one. Badly.