Adidas “Lesson In Style”

The visual effects in this spot for Adidas’s Equation shoes (via 180 Los Angeles) seem designed to please the eyes and minds of viewers, rather than to show off some geek’s computer prowess. So crazy, it might just work! Anyhow, the video imaginatively illustrates the good-natured banter between NBA pros Kevin Garnett (of the Celtics) and Derrick Rose (of the Bulls) — on the subject of style, mind you, not basketball. It’s fun to see a sneaker burst into flames when described not just as “hot” but as “blazing” or to see a fly (which materializes in response to Garnett’s use of “fly” as a bit of ironical praise) get zapped by the tongue of one of these shoes. The slangy text gives us the pleasurable sense of eavesdropping on the two players, but also manages to make us feel we and they are all in on the jokes together — as though Garnett and Rose enjoy having us in the grandstand to appreciate their jabs at one another. The spot’s focus on fashion also puts viewer and NBA pro on a somewhat even footing. We may not be able to play basketball in their league, but we can be as expressive when it comes to footwear. With this emphasis, the brand is the star of the show, benefiting from the NBA players’ star power instead of being upstaged by it. –Mark Dolliver