Tag Archives: sports

Uncle Drew – The Movie Hits the Big Screen

Branding knows no bounds. Well, at least it knows when it’s “in-bounds” in this case (on the basketball court)…

It’s here – the Uncle Drew movie has finally arrived and fans have been ecstatic! What began eight years ago as a series of short, online scripted videos by Pepsi MAX has now hit the big screen as a full movie starring NBA star Kyrie Irving as the elderly (but still talented) basketball player Uncle Drew.

The story focuses on how one of the characters drained his life savings to enter the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, only to see his longtime rival take over his team. Desperate to win the tournament and regain his money, he stumbles upon “the man, the myth, the legend” – Uncle Drew! What ensues is a road trip to round up Uncle Drew’s old basketball squad and prove that the old guys still have what it takes to be winners on the court. With a supporting cast including great players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie, the movie features quick moves and plenty of laughs.

The short films are still winners online. All quickly went viral and have remained fan favorites:

  • Part 1, May 2012, 52 million views. Pepsi MAX visits a New Jersey pick-up game where Uncle Drew first appears.
  • Part 2, October 2012, 13 million views. Uncle Drew is on a mission to get his old team back together in Los Angeles.
  • Part 3, October 2013, 22 million views. Uncle Drew visits an underground jazz club in Chicago to convince his old point guard to revisit the game.
  • Part 4, November 2015, 15 million views. Uncle Drew is in Miami settling old scores.

This is likely one of the largest brand promotion projects done by Pepsi. It’s a Pepsi-funded movie based on a character and concept featured in its soda commercials. Like Pepsi, other companies have been increasing their spending on branded content – films that look more like editorial content than advertising. Clever move – consumers accept the story more easily than accept advertising.

It’s all about the buckets, young blood.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. This is a great summer case study when students are restless and need some screen time.
  2. Discuss the benefits and expenses of branding. How did the original Uncle Drew accomplish this for Pepsi?
  3. Watch the movie trailer: https://youtu.be/Ept29ceiVfk
  4. If you have not seen the original viral videos, here they are:
    1. Part 1: https://youtu.be/8DnKOc6FISU
    2. Part 2: https://youtu.be/MLyvkBifQ3w
    3. Part 3: https://youtu.be/spDdO_ZB-lE
    4. Part 4: https://youtu.be/ZY6GAOPGuPs
    5. Interview with Drew: https://youtu.be/sW2sobJXI4s
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team discuss the pros and cons of this brand extension and movie. What should Pepsi, and other companies, do next?

Source: Brandchannel.com

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Extreme Stunts!

Everyone loves to watch an extreme event. Thrills, chills, excitement! Will it work? Will it fail? Either way – it will be spectacular!

Once rare, extreme stunts have become a valuable marketing tactic for brands to gain the public’s attention and expand a brand’s reach. Unlike a 30-second ad viewed once or twice, a stunt gains valuable viewers and exposure when videos go viral and are watched multiple times.

One of the most memorable in recent years was the Red Bull Stratos freefall jump from space. In that stunt, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner did a 4:20 minute long freefall from 128,000 feet above the Earth, traveling at 1,342 kilometers per hour. The stunt broke world records in longest freefall, highest freefall and highest manned balloon flight! The jump was watched live by 52 million people across online platforms, and has been reviewed millions of times.

Red Bull isn’t alone in using stunts to capture attention and build awareness. One recent event launched the first car into space! Tesla and SpaceX sent a Tesla Roadster (complete with dummy astronaut driver) into space using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket in early February, 2018. The launch logged more than 2.3 concurrent views on YouTube.

Another high-profile of our favorite stunts featured Range Rover’s Sport Plug-In Hybrid as it drove the 99 turns and 999 steps of China’s Tianmen Mountain. The six-minute video resulted in more than three million views, 45,000 likes, and 2,000 comments globally.

Can’t wait to see the next brand’s extreme stunt!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of extreme events in marketing as a promotional tactic.
  2. Poll students: What are some of the events or stunts they can recall? Why were these memorable? Did they further the brand’s message?
  3. Show several of the many videos with extreme stunts: Red Bull Stratos: https://youtu.be/FHtvDA0W34I
  4. Tesla Starman launch: https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw
  5. Tesla Starman – Live Stream: https://www.youtube.com/embed/aBr2kKAHN6M
  6. Land Rover Dragon Challenge: https://youtu.be/EUwzWHD3Htg
  7. Nike Breaking 2: https://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/running/breaking2
  8. Snapple world’s largest popsicle: https://youtu.be/QlZ_QsKYx5Y
  9. Poll students: What brands could make effective use of an extreme stunt as a tactic?
  10. Divide students into teams: Have each team develop a stunt for a selected brand.

Source: Lucken, S. (31 May, 2018). When done right, extreme stunts can catapult a brand into the public eye. Ad Week.

 

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NBA Finals Used AirDrop to Connect with Fans

Quick questions: Do you like unexpected ads and announcements on your phone? Does it entertain you, or annoy you?

These were the key questions undertaken in a creative advertising campaign from ESPN and agency R/GA during the NBA finals. The campaign objective was to drive up viewership of the NBA finals. The tool used was Apple’s AirDrop. In case you have forgotten (or not used) AirDrop, the feature enables two users, who are within 30 feet of each other, to transfer files directly between iPhones and other devices.

For the NBA campaign, personalized messages were sent to people who were NOT at the NBA game, but were instead doing other things like sitting on a bench, hanging out with friends, and more non-basketball activities. The stunt was limited in scope, done at only five locations in downtown New York where marketers sent out personalized messages. And, to make sure they didn’t miss a basket, message recipients also got access to the game on live streaming.

Make sure to check your AirDrop settings! Who knows what might show up next.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion about using AirDrop to deliver unexpected advertisings?
  2. Does use of AirDrop violate privacy?
  3. Show the case study video: https://www.adweek.com/creativity/espn-freaked-out-iphone-users-by-trolling-them-with-airdrop-during-the-nba-finals/?utm_content=position_2&utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=AW_Adfreak&utm_campaign=Adfreak_Newsletter_2018061313&s_id=516e0a4d191b2a646da5e880
  4. How many students in the room currently have AirDrop enabled? Will they continue with that setting?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional campaign to use AirDrop to get attention, and sales.
  6. Debrief the exercise by having each team share its plan.

Source: Beltron, G. (12 June, 2018). ESPN freaked out iPhone users by trolling them with AirDrop during the NBA finals. Ad Week.

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