There’s no hiding it, and I’m not ashamed. I’m a huge sports fan, a notion that would have shocked and horrified my 18-year-old self. Yet these days, we spend at least a couple nights out of the week at the FedEx Forum, screaming calls at the Memphis Grizzlies, tweeting them and wondering why they still never tweet back (I’m looking at you, Tony Allen).
But, from the salaries these guys are paid, to the sheer enormity of Super Bowl marketing, I’d venture to guess I’m not alone.
Lately, there’s been a surge of athletes in commercials, but in a different way. And it’s working.
I’m including my favorite commercial cameos by well-known, and often rival, star athletes. Why do these work? Simply because there’s a famous face, telling you to drink Diet Pepsi? No. We’ve all seen the Sofia Vergara commercial. We all know it just.. doesn’t make sense.
They work because the athletes are poking fun at themselves. We like them like this. We relate to them. I feel like Kris Humphriess is my friend now, because of that FootLocker commercial. Like he’s not just some Kardashian pawn caught in the mix–or was he in on it from the beginning?! Another topic for another day.
Blake Griffin has whittled this concept down to perfection, from teasing his younger self about jorts, dunking skills, and burn-prone ginger skin in a series of Kia commercials.
“HA HA HA! Get it!? Jorts are lame! And Blake Griffin is lame! Not because they beat us in the playoffs last year but because.. because.. ha ha ha!”, I exclaimed.
Still, how is this different? How is it successful?
It’s successful because it’s for a Kia Optima. Or, rather, because I know the commercial is for a Kia Optima. And the Chris Paul commercial is for State Farm Insurance. And the Kris Humphries commercial is for FootLocker.
The retention is somehow higher because of this formula, inspiring a lofty goal.
How can we use this formula in our own, more localized circles? Think self-deprecating cameos–they can be as simple as a radio personality or recognizable car salesman.
The most important part of the blog is the following collection of commercials, all featuring star athletes poking fun at themselves or making light of their roles.