"A" is for advertising. "V" is for … viral video?
Blackalicious' frenetic 1999 tongue-twister "Alphabet Aerobics" gets a sporty update in this animated music video from Bleacher Report.
The two-minute clip, "Sports Alphabet," was created by ad agency barrettSF and production house Gentleman Scholar. Debuting today online, and during tonight's NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat on TNT, the work marks the Turner Sports site's first major push into brand advertising.
As in the iconic original, Gift of Gab's rapping gains intensity and speed as he burns through lyrics tied to letters of the alphabet. The original's dizzying cascade of cultural references and nonsense rhymes, however, have been replaced by sports-themed lyrics, with fabulously fun, vivacious visuals driving the message home.
For example, the first verse, "Alley-alley-alley-alley-oop on amateurs/Air above all and any actors that's average," features alley cats playing basketball. The second, "Big barbarian basically beasting/Biters get blown up being brave, beatings," shows a helmeted behemoth mercilessly trampling his gridiron opponents, even tossing one into orbit. (We can safely assume the NFL approved neither the sentiment nor the imagery.)
"The Bleacher Report brand is getting bigger and louder, so we needed a spot that was big and loud," Bennett Spector, the site's creative marketing adviser, tells AdFreak. "Hopefully the spot feels authentic to the new wave of sports consumption."
Indeed, the pop-culture tie-in and nod to '90s/'00s nostalgia feels like a winning play.
"As the social voice of sports, our focus is on content that triggers social action," Spector says. "We knew from Daniel Radcliffe's viral performance of 'Alphabet Aerobics' on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that this spot would have the potential to explode."
Fallon's clip from a year ago garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube alone. Can Bleacher Report's brand-slam remix hope to scale such heights?
"We want the viewer to be genuinely entertained," Spector says. "People should want to watch this commercial over and over, not fast-forward. If the viewer walks away wanting more, then we've done our job."
LYRICS: "Sports Alphabet"
Now it's time for our wrap up.
Let's give it everything we've got.
GIFT OF GAB:
Alley-alley-alley-alley-oop on amateurs
Air above all and any actors that's average
Big barbarian basically beasting
Biters get blown up being brave, beatings
Casually, I chef cash cheddar, fools get
casualties and caught off guard with chin music
Dirty when I drop dimes damaging the dang earth
Devastate the defense detonate danger
Entertainer entertaining everyone and every mass
Enemies is envious ain't even peep the elbow pass
Fire en fuego flick of the wrist foes in
Fear of the fury left flattened and frozen
Gloves off for the glass jaw by the goons
G.O.A.T of all G.O.A.T.S gone giddy gettin' through
Human joystick, heating up, heat check BLAM
Hit 'em hard, hella hyped, hero going H.A.M.
I'm isolated on islands it's over, it's over
Ice in your veins getting colder
Juke jock jerk to those who aren't worthy
Jamming through my journey in a jet black jersey
King Kong of K.O.s kid kiss the ring
Knuckle up now with the knuckle buck king
Lemme live a long life leading with my laces out
Right now losers look up cause it's lights out
My moves marvelous, money shot, massive
Main event, moon-shot, MVP, master
Nails in the coffin knots in their knees, triumph
Nutmeg through their knees nothing but nylon
Opposition oft on the ropes in the octagon
One-two, punched out, lights going off and on
Pillow picked passes of prolific poetry
Power plays, pickpocketing petty phonies
Quest for the cup, it's quantum y'all, quote me
Quiet all quitters feeling qualms when we're quarreling
Raw ringside riots relish and remain
Rallying, rough rated rhymes make it rain
Swishin' on simple soft suckers spitting swag
Slice dice shimmy nothing-but-net, splash.
Turnt up, taking out timid minds. Twister.
Leave 'em turnt out, they are truck stick victims
Unstoppable ups, stay uninvolved
Unanimous, universal, year of the underdog
Vicious and vital, victories calling
Volley y'all out victorious velocity
Bob and weave well, wide receiving words woven
Moonwalk when I whip, get the world open
X-celling, X-treme, X-tra X-plosive
X-hilarating X-out competition so quick
Yolo pass rhymes, y'all young bucks fall
Yoga stretch rhymes yelling yiggy yes y'alls
Zero zero zero on the clock, game's over
zoomin to the zenith, zero out, in my zone, ZONING!!!
Ha, ha, ha, ha. Good. Can you say it faster?
Title: "Sports Alphabet"
Client: Bleacher Report
Creative Credits: Bleacher Report "Sports Alphabet"
Agency Location: San Francisco, CA
Executive Creative Directors: Pete Harvey & Jamie Barrett
Associate Creative Director: Brad Kayal
Senior Copywriter: Jake Reilly
Art Director: Byron Wages
Senior Producer: Nicole Van Dawark
Producer: Patrick Wilkinson
Associate Producer: Charlotte Dugoni
Managing Director: Patrick Kelly
Account Director: Molly Warner
Production Company: Gentleman Scholar
Directors: William Campbell & Will Johnson
Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
Head of Production: Rachel Kaminek
Associate Creative Director: John-Patrick Rooney
Art Director: Jordan Lyle
CG Supervisor: Tim Hayward
Producer: Nikki Maniolas
Associate Producer: Nicole Smarsh
Design: Trevor Conrad, Chris Finn, Sarah Beth Hulver, Jordan Lyle, Macauley Johnson, John-Patrick Rooney, Calla Donofrio, Hana Eunjin Yean
2D Animation: Chris Finn, Sarah Beth Hulver, Jordan Lyle, Macauley Johnson, John-Patrick Rooney, Shawn Kim
Cel Animation: Tristan Balos, Taik Lee, Stephanie Simpson, Harry Teitelman
Character Animation: Blake Beynon, James Lane
Sound Design: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
Producer: KC Dossett
Audio Mix: One Union Recording
Engineer: Matt Zipkin
Executive Producer: Lauren Mask