Modernista! Returns Converse to TV

BOSTON Converse next week will launch its first TV commercial in nearly a decade via Modernista!

“Invisible,” which airs on Monday, contains no high-profile NBA stars or even amateur athletes. Instead, the camera chases a basketball as it bounces around a deserted, sun-drenched court, handled by an invisible player.

As the faint sounds of an invisible crowd are heard, narrator Mos Def says, “Before Mr. [Chuck] Taylor taught the world to play. Before fiberglass. Before parquet. Before the word ‘doctor’ was spelled with a J. And ballrooms were ball courts where Renaissance played. Before the hype and before the dunk. After the rhythm but before the funk. Before the money and before the fame. Before new and old school. Before school had a name. There was only the ball and the soul of the game.” The tagline is, “The first school.”

Converse’s annual advertising expenditures are estimated at $5 million.

The spot from Modernista!, an independent shop in Boston, is Converse’s first ad effort since competitor Nike agreed to buy the struggling sneaker company last month.

The 30-second spot will run through August on national cable networks that include MTV, MTV2, ESPN and BET. Campaign spending was undisclosed.