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Under Armour ad swipes at LeBron, Kobe, Dwight

Posted on: August 17, 2011 9:06 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 10:46 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverjennings-snake

Under Armour is a well-established player in some segments of the apparal market and they've been aggressively looking to expand their reach when it comes to basketball.

Their first power play was to corner the market on young, undersized, shoot-first point guards with street cred by signing Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats. When that failed to achieve world domination, the company opted for Plan B, which apparently is to volley shots at their rivals in hopes of getting their brand name out there in any way possible.

Their vehicle for achieving brand recognition is this understated spoken word rhyme/rap poetry video advertisement that takes subliminal jabs at Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and former Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson. James and Bryant are Nike athletes; Howard is with adidas; Iverson was the face of Reebok for the better part of a decade.

"We are not royalty," the ad begins. "We don't claim crown to a kingdom we haven't earned yet." 

This line, of course, is a jab at James, whose nickname is "King" and who has yet to win an NBA title.

"We don't represent the followers," the ad continues. "The ones who get bought, the Kings, the superheroes, or the snakes that get caught and wrought in something so fictional that athletes turn into actors, legacy reduced to a press conference concerning practice."

"Kings" references James again. "Superheroes" is a reference to Howard, whose nickname is "Superman" and who wore a cape while winning a Slam Dunk contest. "The snakes" is a reference to Bryant's nickname, the "Black Mamba". The press conference line, of course, recalls Iverson's infamous rant.  

In case you had any doubt about the intended targets or meaning of the words, Jennings uploaded a photo of himself to Twitter wearing an Under Armour t-shirt that reads, "Nobody likes a snake." The words appear in Lakers colors: purple and gold. 

This whole campaign has an obvious rap battle subtext feel. It's a David vs. Goliath tiff, as Jennings has essentially played one meaningful and memorable game in his NBA career -- the night he exploded for 55 points -- while his targets are all perennial All-Stars.

Really, this advertisement raises all the wrong questions. Which company is this for again? What's so bad about actually being an accomplished basketball player? Exactly how does a multi-channel marketing campaign entitled "Change Agents" represent a more authentic existence than the world inhabited by the game's brightest stars? Would the stars even care if Jennings is trying to make a buck off of them?

When the video fades to black, you're left picturing James, Bryant and Howard counting large piles of money, stopping briefly to dust each other's shoulders off. Oh well, I guess. At least we're talking about Under Armour for once.

A word of unsolicited advice: stunts don't sell sneakers for long.

Here's the Under Armour advertisement courtesy of YouTube user UAChangeAgents

Top image via Brandon Jennings on Twitter.

Hat tip: and The Basketball Jones.

Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:45 pm

Under Armour ad swipes at LeBron, Kobe, Dwight

that guy seemed a bit nervous uttering those words...kinda like he was telling lies and talking insanity in front of the whole world, well aware that he will be exposed as a fraud later...but he figures he needs the cash so what the hell... anyway, i didnt really understand much...i think it was a confusing rant about his UNDER ARM or something... and, i was beginning to like that company too (even if they did name their company after thier pits), but that was some desperate poser stuff no doubt...good luck when the real poets with real street cred respond in defense of the REAL basketball stars who infact rose to those heights with blood, sweat and tears while Jenning's spends the rest of his career wishing he could have one more year of atleast being overrated instead of forgotten and reminiscing about that one time he fooled the basketball world with that one big game when he scored more than 50

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:03 pm

Under Armour ad swipes at LeBron, Kobe, Dwight

Under Armour should take notes from K-Swiss because those Kenny Powers commercials are instant classics!  Keep 'em rolling K-Swiss, Powers for president!

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:10 am

Under Armour ad swipes at LeBron, Kobe, Dwight

What's worse,

This commercial or boom boom tap?

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:55 pm

Under Armour ad swipes at LeBron, Kobe, Dwight

Not gonna win any advertisement battles with a boring ass video like that.

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