By Barry Janoff
September 28, 2012: New creative from adidas takes two distinct routes — one continues to follow Derrick Rose in “The Return of D-Rose” campaign, the other has Josh Smith opening up about the pressures of being an NBA star. But both campaigns converge in story lines that show the close connection that each player feels to his respective NBA city.
“Wake Up” is the newest spot in a series of ads that have followed Rose's rehab from knee surgery due to a torn ACL suffered by the Chicago Bulls point guard during the first round of the 2011-12 playoffs. It coincides with the worldwide launch of the D-Rose signature collection and D-Rose 3 basketball shoe on October 4.
"Heavy," Smith's ode to Atlanta, where he has been with the Hawks since 2004, supports the release of the adizero Ghost 2.
Both spots are scheduled to break next week.
In “Wake-Up,” we hear an actual broadcast soundbite from the moment that Rose tore his ACL against the Philadelphia 76ers. Time seemingly stops in Chicago, where people throughout the city, including sports bars, in taxis, at home, on Lake Street Bridge and South Side neighborhoods and parks, are frozen. The action then cuts to Rose working out in a gym, which enables the citizens of Chicago to regain their mobility.
The commercial ends with Rose walking through the player’s tunnel at a United Center to the crescendo of fans anticipating his return to the court. (See the full spot here.)
Rose had surgery on May 12, with doctors estimating between 8-12 months before the NBA's 2010-11 MVP could reclaim his spot with the Bulls. He appeared in just 27 games during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season due to other injuries.
Where Rose's spot contains no vocals, Smith's ad is narrated by the player himself.
"They say the hopes of a franchise are heavy," Smith begins as we see shots of him hitting the court at Philips Arena. "And that they are nothing compared to the hopes of a city. The weight, they say, can be impossible to carry."
As we see Smith in various locations throughout Atlanta, he continues his soliloquy. "They say there's no telling what something that heavy can do." Then, holding up the adizero Ghost 2 he states, "I say, there's no telling what light can do." (See the full spot here.)
The conversation for both players continues online via such social media destinations as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Rose's signature line includes jackets, hoodies, T-shirts, shorts, pants, hats and socks to match each colorway of the shoe.
"The D Rose 3 signature collection is special to me because I worked side-by-side with adidas on everything from materials to fit to colors to make it the best we've done yet," Rose said during a recent launch event. "I love the new logo that calls out the most important things to me: my family, basketball and the city of Chicago."
Last season, Smith had career highs in points (18.8 per game) and rebounds (9.6). Regarding his adidas shoe, the Hawks co-captain offered, “With my type of the game, I need speed. I can’t have a shoe that weighs me down. The adizero Ghost 2 is light, and has support for when I’m driving to the basket. Plus the shoe’s got style too with the patent leather toe—clean and sleek so you can look good while you play good.”
Adidas' other major NBA endorser, Dwight Howard, is currently rehabbing his back following surgery early this year. He went on a tour of China during August under the adidas banner, the same month he was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers in a 12-player deal that also involved the 76ers and Denver Nuggets. The Lakers have not made a timetable for his return, but he currently is going through workouts with members of the team's coaching staff.
Adidas is expected to unveil Howard's first shoe with Lakers' colors as well as marketing support, but have yet to reveal details.
Adidas Builds Alliance With Derrick Rose Via Lifestyle Elements
D-Rose Hits Comeback Trail With Adidas