W+K Portland, Powerade Focus on Jimmy Graham

By Erik Oster 

W+K Portland launched the latest in its “Just A Kid” campaign for Powerade — which launcehd earlier this year with “Rose From Concrete,” featuring Derrick Rose — with a new spot telling the story of Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham.

While “Rose from Concrete” lifted spoken-word audio from the 2Pac track “Mamas Just A Little Girl,” W+K Portland’s new effort finds a different source of inspiration in the form of a story, which should be familiar to fans of the 2002 Steven Spielberg film Catch Me If You Can, about a mouse who fell into a bucket of cream and churned it into butter, allowing for his escape. That story serves to illustrate the real story behind the spot: the origins of Jimmy Graham. The spot opens on Graham as a boy entering the Goldsboro Community Orphanage in North Carolina. Training hard everyday, Graham became a two-sport star at the University of Miami before being drafted into the NFL. The voiceover is delivered by a voice which a Coca-Cola spokeswoman declined to identify but AdAge conjectures is actor Al Pacino. The gravelly rasp certainly bears a resemblance to the star, although it seems strange that the brand would keep such a high-profile collaboration a secret.

A 15-second version of the spot is already being broadcast, with a 30-second version set to make its debut today. Powerade shared the 60-second version of the spot (featured above) on social media yesterday, during the first full day of NFL games. The broadcast and online versions of the ad are supported by an online store, where visitors can design their own customized “Just A Kid” apparel. Proceeds from the purchases will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a nice touch which fits in with the theme of the campaign. 

“Jimmy Graham is one of the most recognizable names in football today, but few people know the obstacles he had to overcome on his path to greatness,” said Powerade senior brand manager Victoria Badiola, in a statement. “We hope athletes who see this campaign take inspiration from Jimmy’s story and realize he, too, was once just a kid from Goldsboro.”