Gooding, Jordan Team for Hanes

NEW YORK Actor Cuba Gooding Jr.’s next starring role will be alongside Michael Jordan in three TV spots for Hanes.

The effort, via The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., is the latest incarnation of the “Look who” campaign. The spots, which will launch next week, support the new Hanes ComfortSoft Collection for Men. Ad spending was not disclosed. Hanes spent nearly $115 million in media behind all its lines in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The push comes as Hanes is enacting the latest in a round of global cost-cutting layoffs and plant closings. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company said last week that nine plant closures in four countries and a worldwide reduction of management and administrative jobs would affect 5,000 employees in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Approximately 350 management and administrative positions will be eliminated, with the majority of these positions based in the U.S.

The three TV spots focus on humorous encounters between Jordan and Gooding on the set of a fictional late-night talk show where they are guests. In “Gift Basket,” Gooding finds in his dressing room a gift basket of Hanes products. He tries on a pair, then sticks his head out the door and yells to Jordan, “I’m wearing your underwear!”

In “Meeting MJ,” show producers brief Gooding about what not to do when meeting Jordan (specifically he is not to touch Michael’s soft shirt), a warning he ignores. “Dressing Room” sees Gooding alone in Jordan’s dressing room looking through MJ’s duffle bag. In it he finds a cereal box with Michael’s photo, Jordan Cologne, a basketball and Hanes underwear. Jordan ultimately catches Gooding.

The campaign will run through June 2008. Support includes a Web site, Hanes.com/backstage, with alternate endings. Since being unveiled in 2005, the “Look who” effort has featured celebrities such as Jordan, Matthew Perry, Marisa Tomei, Damon Wayans, Christina Applegate, Kevin Bacon and Jennifer Love Hewitt.