If there's one thing I love, it's watching my favorite sports organization score a goal unit against the sports organization from that place I've always hated. Seriously, I am occasionally a football guy, but am rarely moved by sports advertising. This Adidas ad from 180LA, however, is something out of the ordinary, and in a good way.
Its star, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, is not a person who inspires easy empathy—that's what comes of signing a five-year, $94.8 million contract as your base salary. But this ad drags human feeling out of you simply by showing the poor guy lying on the ground, clutching his knee, as TNT's Kevin Harlan bellows, "Holding onto his knee … holding onto his knee and down."
I suppose director Stacy Wall is showing us how thoroughly the world of the sports fan grinds to a halt when his favorite sports-organization constituent can no longer score goal units. But Wall is also adroitly demonstrating how freaking awful it is for a guy who makes his living running, jumping and feinting to tear his ACL and leave the sport for the rest of the season.
Rose is the youngest player in NBA history to be MVP—the rule that allows the Bulls to break the salary cap for an early-career MVP is named after him. Can you imagine being that 23-year-old hotshot with the world on a string one second, mid-playoffs against the 76ers, and suddenly having nothing but physical therapy to look forward to the next? You'd squirt ketchup all over the sidewalk, too, just like that girl in the slo-mo shot near the hot-dog vendor.
Rose had surgery in May, and is expected to be out for eight months to a year. But the point guard's recovery has become something of a team sport in and of itself for the city of Chicago. He swears he's coming back (seriously, $94.8 million), but if you've ever torn a ligament, you know you need support in every sense of the word.
Adidas is tapping into that, perhaps even at the expense of its product. (Can anyone tell me what this ad is selling? Shoes? OK, shoes.) But there's a lot of warm-and-fuzzy brand identification to go along with this spot, and it kind of makes you want to chant and clap your hands whenever you see a shot of Rose on the screen.
Go, Derrick! I don't understand your sport or your stats, but your knee looks like it hurts, and I want you to get better!
Spot: "Wake Up"
Agency: 180 Los Angeles
Executive Creative Director: William Gelner
Creative Directors: Gavin Milner, Grant Holland
Copywriter: Dave Horton
Art Director: Matthew Woodhams-Roberts
Head of Production, Managing Partner: Peter Cline
Senior Producer: Natasha Wellesley
Director of Client Services: Chad Bettor
Account Director: Jerico Cabaysa
Account Manager: Paul Kinsella
Planning Director: Martin Ramos
Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Director: Stacy Wall
Director of Photography: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Senior Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Producer: Mary Livingston
Production Designer: Dominic Watkins
Stylist: Lee Ann Jarvis
Casting: PR Casting
Street Casting: David Robinson
Shoot Location: Chicago
Shoot Date: Aug. 11-14, 2011
Rock Paper Scissors
Editors: Adam Pertofsky, Grant Surmi
Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver
Producer: Juliet Batter
Assistants: Neil Meiklejohn, Marjorie Sacks
Colorist: Adam Scott
Transfer Facility, Visual Effects: The Mill
Visual Effects Supervisor: Kathy Siegal
Flame Artists: Tim Bird, Nick Taylor, Elad Offer, Margolit Steiner
Computer Graphics Artists: Edward Hicks, Wyatt Savarse
Head of Production: Arielle Davis
Producer: Sabrina Elizondo
Recording Studio: Juice
Date: Sept. 20, 2012
Final Mix: Sept. 20, 2012
Mixer: Bob Gremore
Assistant Mixer: Chris Zavala
Executive Producer: Natalie Pranevsky
Sound Design Company: 740
Lead Sound Designer: Eddie Kim
Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
Producer: Adrienne Alexander
Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing: Nicole Vollebregt
Global Brand Marketing Director: Ryan Morlan
Global Brand Marketing Manager: Lorrin Pascoe
Senior Global Digital Manager: Lia Vakoutis