Serena Williams (and Daughter Alexis) Star in Powerful New U.S. Open Spot for Chase

Don't call it a comeback

Chase

If Serena Williams has proved one thing in the past year or so, it’s that she’s unstoppable.

The tennis champ—who has won 23 grand slam titles throughout her tennis career—nearly died while giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. (whose father is Williams’s Reddit co-founder husband, Alexis Ohanian) in September 2017. Less than a year later, she’s preparing to compete at her first U.S. Open since she gave birth—and that’s just a few months after she came in second place at Wimbledon this summer. Oh, and don’t forget, she won the Australian Open in 2017 while she was pregnant.

Heading into this year’s U.S. Open, Williams is undoubtedly the tourney’s biggest star and her matches are some of its most anticipated. And this year, U.S. Open sponsor Chase is showing its support for Williams with an emotional new spot crafted by Droga5, featuring not only Williams, but her daughter, too.

The video opens with Williams cradling her daughter before placing her in her crib, walking out of the room as she prepares to head to the court. It’s a fitting depiction, as Williams has been open about the difficulties of balancing her grueling training and competitive schedule with motherhood. (Earlier this summer, she candidly tweeted that she cried after missing her daughter’s first steps while she was on the court.)

Short clips of Williams saying goodbye to her daughter, palm trees moving in the breeze and a pensive stare from the athlete all appear on the screen as Williams recites the lyrics to LL Cool J’s hit Mama Said Knock You Out. These lyrics, which include the lines “Don’t call it a comeback / I’ve been here for years / Rocking my peers / Putting suckers in fear,” feel eerily-applicable to her current life situation, as the public seems to have dubbed Williams’s first season back postpartum her own “comeback.”

She closes out the minute-long video standing on the court, looking directly at the camera, uttering the song’s title: “Mama said knock you out”—which also happens to be the title of this campaign.

Droga5 said that the ad is supposed to serve not only as an show of support to Williams as she heads into the Open, but also a reminder that she’s not “coming back” to the court from motherhood—she’s simply started a new chapter. In the ad, “we see the vulnerability that comes with being a new parent, but we also see that she draws strength from it,” said a release from Droga5. “Motherhood is not something that’s holding her back. It’s giving her the strength to press forward.”

Mama Said Knock You Out Credits List
Client CHASE
Campaign Mama Said Knock You Out
Title Mama Said Knock You Out
Agency Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman David Droga
Chief Creative Officer Neil Heymann
Founding Partner Duncan Marshall
Group Creative Director Lauren Costa
Creative Director Jake Shaw
Creative Director Ash Tavassoli
Senior Copywriter Nedal Ahmed
Senior Art Director Julia Melograna
Chief Design Officer Jason Severs
Design Director Anna Fine
Designer Andrew Diemer
Designer Kelsey Lynch
Chief Creation Officer Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Film Production Jesse Brihn
Executive Producer, Film Kyle Wright
Music Supervisor Mike Ladman
Head of Business Affairs Jocelyn Howard
Senior Business Affairs Manager Tom Vendittelli
Co-Director of Interactive Production Tasha Cronin
Co-Director of Interactive Production Justin Durazzo
Senior Producer, Interactive Nicole Bazzinotti
Associate Producer, Interactive Emily Blumhardt
Head of Art Production Cliff Lewis
Producer, Print Riely Clough
Chief Strategy Officer Jonny Bauer
Co-Head of Strategy Colm Murphy
Group Strategy Director Dan Ng
Strategy Director Hayley Parker
Strategist Graham Jones
Head of Communications Strategy Dean Challis
Communications Strategy Director Danni Patterson
Senior Communications Strategist Kevin Wilkerson
Deputy Head, Account Management Agnes Fischer
Group Account Director Susan Pratchett
Account Director Pauline Tastenhoye
Account Manager Niamh Walsh
Group Project Manager Rene Ramirez
Legal Sarah Fox
Celeb Talent Relations Lindsey McElroy
Client CHASE
Kristin Lemkau Chief Marketing Officer
Jeff Pilarcik Managing Director, Head of Retail Brand
John Anderson VP, Brand and Advertising
Katherine Schoff Marketing Director, Sports & Entertainment
Production Company Epoch
Director Martin De Thurah
DOP Monika Lenczewska
Executive Producer Melissa Culligan
Line Producer Leah Allina
Edit Company Exile NY
Executive Producer Sasha Hirschfeld
Head of Production Evyn Bruce
Editor Shane Reid
Assistant Editor Cutler Gray
Producer Lauren Pullano & Dale Nicholls
Photography Second Child
Photographer Paul McGeiver
Producer Kim Santella
Retouchers Mike Vorassi, John Clendenen
Graphics Studio Manager Virginia Vargas
Post Production Method
Flame Randie Swanberg – Flame Lead / CD
Colorist Sofie Borup – Colorist
Angela Lupo – Executive Producer
Adrienne Mitchell – Executive Producer
Tsiliana Jolson-Senior Supervising
Producer
Camara Edwards -vfx coordinator
Suzanne Dyer -Flame Artist
David Piombino – 2D Comp Supervisor
Scott Minter- 2D/Nuke Compositor
Chris Hunt – Flame Artist
Ed Lopez – Flame Artist
Glen Bennett – Flame Artist
Music LL COOL J
Song Mama Said Knock You Out
Sound Q Department
Creative Director Drazen Bosnjak
Zack Rice Executive Producer
Molly Young Producer
Erick Magnus QD Location Sound Recordist
Josh Audio Mixer
Graphics Production Company Second Child
Quality Control Manager Lisa Bishai
Graphics Studio Manager Virginia Vargas
Graphics Studio Coordinator Nereida Valles
Production Artist Joseph Barrile
Print Production Company Second Child
Photographer Paul McGeiver
Producer Kim Santella
Digital Tech Meindert Smith
Photography Assistant Huston Ochoa

Don’t miss Brandweek, coming up September 23-25 in Palm Springs. No panels, no sales pitches—just three days of interactive discussion, problem-solving, entertainment and networking. Learn more here.

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