It’s hard to remember a Sprite TV spot that didn’t feature pro/amateur athletes playing street ball and squirting liters of lemon-lime soda into their mouths after a big dunk. In fact, “Obey Your Thirst” ran as Sprite’s tagline for over a decade, and only in 2007 did the brand cut it down to “Obey” because Shepard Fairey speaks to a younger generation or something.
But, when parent company Coca-Cola tapped Johannes Leonardo to lead Sprite’s global creative duties last May, it became clear that a change was imminent. With “Obey You,” Johannes Leonardo is taking Sprite out of Rucker Park and putting it on a much stranger course. It’s become somewhat clear that the younger generation no longer idolizes professional basketball stars like they once did. That is, unless that star is Blake Griffin, and that star is being weird.
“Obey You” seems to be employing the strategy of “weird sells to 18-49.” Are the antagonistic voices in your head going to sell more Sprite than street-ballers? Or is the younger generation getting weary of the weird?