Sprite Hoops It Up With Bryant

NEW YORK Sprite continues its “Portraits in Thirst” in an estimated $10 million campaign from WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather that breaks Friday.

Starring Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant, the New York agency’s initial 30-second TV spot, “All-Star Game,” will first air during TNT’s sports programming leading up to Sunday’s NBA All-Star game.

Bryant is shown going through a rigorous workout that includes running in the early morning, lifting weights and sparring in the ring. In reference to the site of All-Star Game, of which Sprite is the official sponsor, the rap song “Welcome to Atlanta” by Jermaine Dupri plays in the background.

As a series of edits replays scenes from his exercise routine, Bryant says in a voiceover, “How did I get my ticket to the All-Star Game? I paid for it.” As a triumphant Bryant enters an arena to massive applause, he speaks again, “What’s my thirst? The game.” He then poses the same question to viewers as the Sprite tagline, “Obey your thirst,” appears across the screen.

“The ads are based on the premise that anyone can achieve great things if they’re true to themselves. That’s the sensibility we’ve aligned Sprite with,” said a representative with Coca-Cola, Sprite’s parent.

Bryant appears in three other 30-second spots as well. “Anthem,” “Weights” and “Boxing” showcase parts of his workout regimen and answers the question, “What’s my thirst?” by saying, “Staying on top,” “Doing whatever it takes” and “Proving them wrong,” respectively. The first of these spots begins airing Feb. 10, the representative said.