More Flex Appeal for Lugz

NEW YORK Hip-hop DJ Funkmaster Flex reappears in his third television spot for Lugz, this time lending his name to the manufacturer’s new driving shoe, the Funkmaster Flex FMF-1.

The commercial, created by Avrett Free & Ginsberg and Psyop, both in New York, broke yesterday on MTV, Comedy Central and Fox. Blurring the line between live-action film and computer animation, the ad features an original music track by the artist.

In the spot, the DJ hops into a SUV and snakes down a gritty, animated city street to an underground club where he is performing. Live footage of a snarling pit bull, with glowing green discs for eyes, barks at Flex’s passing car.

“The goal was to create something with some mystery, to get the ‘How did they do that’ effect,” said Rory Braunstein, group creative director at Avrett. “Flex is live action, but most everything including environments and the automobile is animated.”

A series of quick cuts choreographed to the hip-hop beat creates a stuttering effect and frames jumps between shots of Flex steering the car, spinning turntable records and revolving hubcaps. Close-ups of Flex’s feet showcase the shoe while the soundtrack says: “Riding with the big dog. Funkmaster Flex. Lugz, all right. When you’re sitting on 24s, that’s what you need—Lugz.”

While Funkmaster Flex has starred in print and TV ads for the client for nearly three years, he has not dominated the brand’s campaign, Braunstein said. Another spot by Avrett used computer-animated break dancers; others work has featured the DJ’s music, he said.

“Lugz is not really interested in long-term campaigns as much as breaking the mold two or three times a year,” Braunstein said. Flex provides the campaign some continuity, he said.