TBWA\C\D Provides Extra-Credit ‘Lessons’

LOS ANGELES Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day will reinforce its “Lessons” spot for Adidas with “Lessons 2,” said senior copywriter Scott Duchon. The new ad, which features Orlando Magic star Tracy McGrady, breaks over the Christmas holiday.

In the first lesson, McGrady said that people should not worry about athletes leaving college early for the National Basketball Association because he would take them to school every day. In the followup, directed by RSA’s Jake Scott for TBWA\C\D, San Francisco, the commercial takes “creative liberties with his huge repertoire of moves,” said Duchon. “We’re dissecting Tracy’s moves. It’s meant to be a little clinical and to relate to the first spot. So we used the same music, but in different way, and the same style of filmmaking.”

Trails followed the player’s moves in the first spot; in “Lessons 2,” white outlines of the backboard and rim seem to collect in space with each completed basket, as if they are being totaled in the player’s head. “We’re taking the graphic nature of the basket and focusing on it as a piece of art,” Duchon said.

Duchon said the creative team wanted McGrady to “talk about something that was relevant to him now. He recently scored 51 points in a game but his team lost.” So McGrady relates his frustration in a humorous way as a voiceover: “Dropping 50 and losing? That’s no fun. As long as we’re getting the ‘W,’ I don’t care if I only score five. Well, maybe 35.” The 30-second spot ends with “Forever sport” and the Adidas logo.

Duchon said that because the first commercial established the shoe and the athlete, the agency could step back from hard-sell product shots and use print and Internet components of the campaign for specifics. “A gratuitous shoe shot would have changed the dynamics of the spot. This is branding Adidas,” he said.

Duchon said the ad will replace the first “Lesson” in national and spot-cable buys before Jan 1.

Adidas spent $34 million on advertising through October 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.