Harlem’s legendary Rucker Tournament, the myth of the schoolyard basketball phenom who can outrun any NBA star and a chorus of high-flying, trash-talking New York players drive Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s new television commercials for And 1 athletic shoes.
The jump-cut, mostly black-and-white ads pick up where Philadelphia-based And 1’s popular Latrell Spreewell spots leave off, taking us into the schoolyard, the crucible where future NBA moves and this week’s street legends are forged.
“These guys live and breathe basketball,” said CP&B art director Alex Burnard. “We wanted to capture the emotion of their game . . . and the revolution they’re leading from the playground to the pros.”
Framed by an imaginary limo ride and underscored by a repetitive, hypnotic refrain–“When you come into the ‘hood, things change”–the pieces deliver their message in an abstract, free-flowing form rather than a linear story.
“And 1 is the players’ brand,” said copywriter Ari Merkin. “Nike’s ads portray basketball history. We wanted to communicate what’s happening today . . . right now.”
–Vincent Coppola