Ad of the Day: Adidas

A city grieves for Derrick Rose, and awaits his return, in 180LA's show-stopper

If there's one thing I love, it's watching my favorite sports organization score a goal unit against the sports organization from that place I've always hated. Seriously, I am occasionally a football guy, but am rarely moved by sports advertising. This Adidas ad from 180LA, however, is something out of the ordinary, and in a good way.

Its star, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, is not a person who inspires easy empathy—that's what comes of signing a five-year, $94.8 million contract as your base salary. But this ad drags human feeling out of you simply by showing the poor guy lying on the ground, clutching his knee, as TNT's Kevin Harlan bellows, "Holding onto his knee … holding onto his knee and down."

I suppose director Stacy Wall is showing us how thoroughly the world of the sports fan grinds to a halt when his favorite sports-organization constituent can no longer score goal units. But Wall is also adroitly demonstrating how freaking awful it is for a guy who makes his living running, jumping and feinting to tear his ACL and leave the sport for the rest of the season.

Rose is the youngest player in NBA history to be MVP—the rule that allows the Bulls to break the salary cap for an early-career MVP is named after him. Can you imagine being that 23-year-old hotshot with the world on a string one second, mid-playoffs against the 76ers, and suddenly having nothing but physical therapy to look forward to the next? You'd squirt ketchup all over the sidewalk, too, just like that girl in the slo-mo shot near the hot-dog vendor.

Rose had surgery in May, and is expected to be out for eight months to a year. But the point guard's recovery has become something of a team sport in and of itself for the city of Chicago. He swears he's coming back (seriously, $94.8 million), but if you've ever torn a ligament, you know you need support in every sense of the word.

Adidas is tapping into that, perhaps even at the expense of its product. (Can anyone tell me what this ad is selling? Shoes? OK, shoes.) But there's a lot of warm-and-fuzzy brand identification to go along with this spot, and it kind of makes you want to chant and clap your hands whenever you see a shot of Rose on the screen.

Go, Derrick! I don't understand your sport or your stats, but your knee looks like it hurts, and I want you to get better!

CREDITS

Client: Adidas

Spot: "Wake Up"

Agency: 180 Los Angeles

Executive Creative Director: William Gelner

Creative Directors: Gavin Milner, Grant Holland

Copywriter: Dave Horton

Art Director: Matthew Woodhams-Roberts

Head of Production, Managing Partner: Peter Cline

Senior Producer: Natasha Wellesley

Director of Client Services: Chad Bettor

Account Director: Jerico Cabaysa

Account Manager: Paul Kinsella

Planning Director: Martin Ramos

Production

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker

Director: Stacy Wall

Director of Photography: Hoyte Van Hoytema

Senior Executive Producer: Doug Halbert

Producer: Mary Livingston

Production Designer: Dominic Watkins

Stylist: Lee Ann Jarvis

Casting: PR Casting

Street Casting: David Robinson

Shoot Location: Chicago

Shoot Date: Aug. 11-14, 2011

Editorial

Rock Paper Scissors

Editors: Adam Pertofsky, Grant Surmi

Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver

Producer: Juliet Batter

Assistants: Neil Meiklejohn, Marjorie Sacks

Completion/Special Effects

Colorist: Adam Scott