Ricci, Leguizamo ‘Get Real’ in Sneaker Ads

BOSTON Reebok said it has added film stars Christina Ricci and John Leguizamo, as well as Red Sox ace Curt Schilling and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, to appear in its “I am what I am” ad campaign.

The work, which Reebok says celebrates individuality and authenticity, has also featured Lucy Liu, Allen Iverson, Kelly Holmes, Jay-Z, Yao Ming and Nicole Vaidisova.

By far the most controversial endorser has been rapper 50 Cent, who starred in a Reebok TV ad last month that alluded to attempts made on his life. In the spot, the rapper counts to nine, the number of times he has been shot. Critics charged the spot glorified violence; Reebok defended the spot but later pulled it off the air.

New York-based independent agency mcgarrybowen debuted the campaign in February. The athletic footwear company in Canton, Mass., spends about $150 million annually on global advertising, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“Being aspirational and inspirational is key to the campaign’s success. Christina, John, Curt and Donovan have intriguing stories to share and they truly embody our brand attributes of authenticity and individuality,” said Brian Povinelli, Reebok’s vp of global integrated marketing.

This spring, to further support the movement to celebrate authenticity, Reebok will launch an online forum on www.rbk.com where consumers will have the opportunity to create their own “I am what I am” ads or nominate someone who they feel truly embodies the campaign message.

—Adweek staff report

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