LeBron James Won’t Tell You to Drink Sprite in Latest From W+K New York

By Erik Oster 

Tired of meta self-awareness in advertising? W+K New York’s new campaign for Sprite is full of it.

LeBron James, who has been a spokesman for the brand through multiple agency changes now, stars in the self-explanatory “LeBron James is a Sprite Endorser.”

The 60-second spot opens with James promising (while holding a bottle of Sprite and sitting at a table between baskets of lemons and limes): “I’d never tell you to drink Sprite, even if I was in a commercial for Sprite, which I am.”

Cue cards aside, James wouldn’t tell you to drink Sprite, despite scenarios including eating spicy tacos, a “metaphor about Sprite” in which Lil Yachty is writing songs about Sprite and a bunch of “cool influencer people” holding bottles of the beverage. You get the idea. What he would do is ask you nicely whether you might enjoy a refreshing Sprite … which leads into the hashtagline #WannaSprite.


This approach could feel slightly familiar to fans of Droga5’s “If We Made It” Super Bowl ad parody for Newcastle in 2014. That spot wasn’t pioneering the approach, but since then the meta angle has only become more common. LeBron James, whose endorsement remains a core strategy for the brand, does provide a slightly different angle given that he is one of the world’s most recognizable athletes and brand spokespeople.

In addition to the 60-second spot, the campaign also includes several 30 and 15-second versions utilizing different segments of the full-length. There’s also a “Behind-the-Scenes” effort, in which James talks about “authenticity” and his longtime partnership with the brand.