Takin’ It To The Street

Crispin’s And 1 Work Bypasses NBA Strife
ATLANTA–And now, a sneaker for people who don’t wanna be like Mike.
With a core audience of young hoop heads (males, 12 and up) that would rather play basketball than watch it on TV, And 1 is breaking its first major campaign this week since placing its account at Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami earlier this year.
Due to the gym-rat predilections of its audience, And 1 has not been hurt by the National Basketball Association lockout. Its shoes are not as closely allied with professional players as are Nike, Reebok and Converse.
“This campaign is about being able to take your game to street ball, not pro ball,” said agency art director Alex Burnard.
“If you can’t play, don’t wear our shoes,” said And 1 representative Errin Smith, adding that $3-4 million is earmarked for the campaign.
Print ads will appear in publications like Slam, Blaze, ESPN Magazine, Sport and NBA Inside Stuff. The ads show stop-motion photographs of And 1 players (like Phoenix Sun Rex Chapman and rookies Raef Lafrentz of the Denver Nuggets and Larry Hughes of the Philadelphia 76ers) making their signature moves toward the basket.
Underneath the photos are boxed icons to relate the impact the player’s particular move has on the opposition. In Chapman’s case, a soldier is seen pulling the pin from a hand grenade and the resulting explosion.
In Hughes ad, a cheetah is seen chasing a gazelle. A final frame (under a shot of the player getting ready to dunk) shows the cat with blood dripping from its jaws. There is no tagline.
“The [photography] was based on their moves or some other aspect of their game,” said copywriter Renato Floresca. “We wanted to break it down and show it, so it was something even 12-year-old kids could relate to.”
And I officials point out that while they use pro athletes in the ads, the shoes are not tied to the player by name. That enables the firm to play off the athlete’s status without suffering through the NBA strike. The players’ names appear only in small print.
The company has also made an investment in the college game by cutting deals with schools like Oklahoma, Providence and DePaul. And 1 stresses that its products are bought for their performance more than their logo. “Pro basketball is not the only basketball out there,” said Smith. “The lockout is not affecting the [amateur] players’ love of the game.”
Campaign credits include creative director Alex Bogusky, art director Burnard, copywriter Floresca, account supervisor Laura Bowles and photographer Stephen Wilkes.