Sterling Rice Group and Buck Ross Talk Long Odds in March Madness-Themed Spots for California Almonds

By Patrick Coffee 

What do almonds and college basketball have in common?

Generally, we would say “nothing.” But a new campaign promoting the California variety of those wonderful nuts ties them together with a simple premise: the odds of a diet rich in almonds improving one’s health are significantly higher than the chances that your bracket will be perfect…or that your party will be able to move a healthcare reform bill through congress! Zing!

Here are three variations on that theme via creative agency Sterling Rice Group and production company Buck Ross, both of which are based in Boulder, Colorado. First, the “likelihood of being hit by space debris” scenario.


Next, the doppelgänger conundrum.

The BBC claims that finding someone who looks just like you is not really all that unlikely. But we would note that the people in that article do not really look exactly alike.

Supermodels, which are maybe still a thing(?), probably don’t have doppelgängers.

The ads are running nationally on ESPN & CBS Sports as part of March Madness.

According to FiveThirtyEight, which is always right about everything except the most important thing it was supposed to be right about, the odds of correctly predicting the entire tournament are ACTUALLY somewhere between 1 in 1 billion and 1 in 2 billion.

Based on this Men’s Fitness listicle, we wonder how the “become a professional basketball player” and “hit a hole in one” spots would have turned out. (That piece also makes for a great case study in exactly how awful and invasive most digital advertising is.)

Also, other than “limited stakes” games at a licensed casino, gambling is illegal in the state of Colorado. Why do people fill out brackets, again??


Agency: Sterling Rice Group
Creative Director: Robert Borges
Copy Writer: Christine Coe
Art Director: Tim O’Malley
Account Director: Mickey Citarella
Production Director: Jessica Morrison
Jr Producer: Rachael Thompson

Production Company: Buck Ross
Director: Ryan Ross
DP: Kevin Emmons
Line Producer: Daniell Taff
Consulting Producer: Lam T. Nguyen
Art Director: Pamela Chavez
Editor: Lam T. Nguyen
Color: Herman Nieuwoudt
Sound: Jason McDaniel