Spike Lee Hits the Streets for Hat Store Lids in Documentary-Style Ad

Sneaker aficionado looks up top

It’s gotta be the Lids!

Spike Lee, who focused on sneakers in his seminal Nike ads a generation ago, turns his attention from footwear to headgear—or more precisely, to the cultural fusion thereof—as he chats with people on the street and in stores to promote retail chain Lids.

“For many like me, hats make a personal statement and communicate what you represent, who you are, how you live and what you love to the world,” says Lee. “It was my team’s goal to bring the conversation of today’s diverse headwear culture to light by accentuating the underlying reasons why cap lovers, sports fans and others wear and invest” in such heady apparel.

Lee, who also directed the breezy, three-minute documentary-type spot below, starts out in Times Square, and also visits Lids’ hometown of Indianapolis. Along the way, he rocks various styles, probes the passion folks feel for their gear, and caps things off by observing, “People aren’t joking. They want their hat game to be tight, and they want their sneaker game to be tight. That’s the way we do it.”

While not exactly brimming with insight, Lee’s self-consciously relaxed schtick is pretty compelling. As always, he has fun with his celebrity, and so do we. And from a brand perspective, the topper is Lee’s copious cred as a pioneering play-ah on the sports/fashion scene. (Those red Yankees caps debuted more than 20 years ago!?)

“Throughout the entire shoot, Spike engaged with consumers and Lids associates from all perspectives where he also elicited memorable commentary on the thought process behind selecting headwear,” says John DeWaal, Lids vice president of marketing.

“One of the most memorable moments occurred at the Indianapolis Lids location, where the first item Spike Lee signed was for a Pacers fan,” DeWaal says. “The item was an iconic photograph of Reggie Miller making a score-tying 3-point shot against the Knicks during the 1998 playoffs. The photograph already had Miller’s signature on the photo that shows Lee looking on from the front row in disbelief, so Lee added his autograph to the photograph as well.”

Agency: Spike DDB
Production Company: 40 Acres and a Mule
Director: Spike Lee

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