Kobe Bryant throws up an air ball for airline

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Here’s how to stir up controversy with the sizable and vocal Armenian American community in Los Angeles: Get cozy with the Turks. Kobe Bryant, the Lakers star, found this out when he signed a two-year deal to endorse Turkish Airlines. Protests, outrage and threatened boycotts (which never seemed to materialize) followed. Now, the first commercial launches, leaving a lot of people asking if this campaign is really worth all the hubbub it’s caused. It’s not even very good, and it’s certainly not an original idea. Kobe and a chef-of-the-sky switch places and try each other’s jobs. Yawn. (Is a short white guy getting pummeled on the basketball court always good for a laugh? Nope.) Bryant, a longtime pitchman in the U.S. and one of the NBA’s most famous faces worldwide, couldn’t possibly have needed the money. To make this dustup worthwhile will take something more substantial than the ad itself.

@TLStanleyLA terry.stanley@adweek.com T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.