LeBron James’ Face Changes to That of a Crying Baby and Then Back in Intel’s Latest Ad

Highlights brand's 360-degree replay technology

The ad plays on a popular LeBron meme. YouTube: Intel
Headshot of Christine Birkner

Intel has tapped some of the world’s greatest athletes, including Michael Phelps and Tom Brady, to star in its ads, and the brand is at it again. Its latest spot from mcgarrybowen features LeBron James poking fun at the “crying LeBron James” meme.

In the ad, “Baby Face,” the three-time NBA champ’s face changes to that of a crying baby and then changes back to highlight Intel’s 360-degree replay technology and the angles it captures. Intel released the Phelps spot hot off his performance at the Rio Olympics and debuted the Brady ad during the Super Bowl. The brand timed this one to launch on one of basketball’s biggest stages, the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four on Saturday.

“We compete in a performance-oriented category, so from a marketing standpoint, it’s a great analogy to relate athletic performance and the world’s best-performing athletes to technology performance,” said Intel CMO Steve Fund. “It’s an entertaining way to bring home the idea that [through Intel 360 technology] you can see things at angles that you haven’t seen before.”

Capitalizing on sports and pop-culture moments has paid off so far for Intel. The brand logged its best financial performance ever in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Fund.

“Our ability to break through, persuade, connect with pop culture—all the metrics are moving in a positive direction,” he said. “We feel really good about what we’re doing and the impact on the business.”


Agency: mcgarrybowen
Managing Director, ECD: Marianne Besch
Creative Director, Art: Drew Jaz
Creative Director, Copy: Lorrin O’Neill
Senior Copywriter: Katie Andree
Junior Designer: MacKenzie Dunsmoor
Managing Director, Content Production: Dante Piacenza
Executive Producer: Stacy Kay
Executive Music Producer: Jarrett Mason
Managing Director: Peter Geary
Group Managing Director: Cliff Stevens
Account Director: Alex McNamara
Asst Account Executive: Sarah Wheeler

Production Company: Caviar
Director: Neal Brennan
Executive Producer: Michael Sagol
Producer: Tova Dann
DP: Ken Seng
Production Designer: Jason Hougaard

Editor: Cosmo Street
Editor: Tom Scherma
Executive Producer: Yvette Sears

VFX: Mill LA
Creative Director: Phil Crowe
Shoot Supervisor: Matt Neapolitan
Sr Producer: Anastasia von Rahl
Producer: Marcus Speaker
Producer: Will Unterreiner
2D Lead Artist: Andy Dill
3D Lead Artist:Dan Warom
Colorist:Adam Scott

Audio: Lime Studios
Engineer: Loren Silber
Sound Design: Henry Boy

Talent: LeBron James

@ChristineBirkne christine.birkner@adweek.com Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.