Lois/EJL here breaks a series of new TV spots this week featuring two of the world's great sports icons: Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.
The spots for the Chicagoland/Northwest Indiana Chevrolet Dealers begin airing Feb. 19 and feature footage of the two athletes, who were brought together by the agency for a shoot with photographer Jim Secreto. That session resulted in a promotional poster for the Chevy Blazer that dealers will give away in showrooms. Shot in a documentary style, the ads show the two greats preparing for the shoot and then meeting, for the first time, on the set.
"We wanted to keep it spontaneous," said Mike de Maio, president and chief operating officer for Lois/EJL.
The spots capture the two horsing around after they meet. Jordan mock-spars with the former heavyweight champion. Ali makes "rabbit ears" behind an unsuspecting Jordan's head for one picture.
One spot, in 30- and 60-second executions, advertises the dealer poster promotion. "These guys had to come a long way to make this statement," says the voiceover in the 30-second spot. "All you have to do is go to your local Chevy dealer."
Two other 30-second spots promote the Chevy Blazer. "Olympic gold medalists. World champions. Blazer owners," the voiceover says of the two athletes in one of the spots. "Join the club."
Jordan has been a spokesman for the Chevy dealer association since 1984 and has been featured in several memorable ads, including a series in which he dropped in on other Blazer owners at their homes.
The appearance is Ali's first for the dealer association. The chance to meet Michael Jordan was a major factor in securing Ali's participation, de Maio said.
"He really wanted to meet Michael Jordan," he said. "And Michael Jordan has said if there was one autograph he really wanted, it was Ali's."
Jordan is seen autographing a boxing glove for Ali in one spot.
The excitement carried over to many on the commercial shoot's crew, who also donated their time for the opportunity to work with the two superstars, de Maio said.