By Barry Janoff
December 3, 2013: Selfie was called the "word of the year" by Oxford Dictionaries.
It also is the word that is a call to action for Kobe Bryant of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and international soccer icon Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona in a new commercial for Turkish Airlines.
"The Selfie Shootout" focuses on Bryant and Messi, in their second spot for the carrier, as they seek to outdo one another with self-taken cell phone pix in global locations. The one-upmanship turns the commercial into a travelogue of destinations to where Turkish Airlines flies.
That includes Boston, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Hurghada, Lagos, Los Angeles, Malaga, Marseille, Nairobi, Venice and Ulanbato.
Among the National Geographic-type settings in the spot are the Great Wall of China, St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, a red carpet event in Hollywood, scuba diving in the Maldives, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and Bangkok.
Ultimately, it's in Istanbul's Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet Square where they unexpectedly meet, and where Bryant photo-bombs Messi's selfie.
The spot ends with the pair continuing their duel and the text, "Turkish Airlines. Flying to more countries than any other airline." (See the full spot here.)
The spot also moves Turkish Airlines from its "Globally Yours" tag line to the new, Widen your world."
"The 'Globally Yours' motto substantially increased international awareness of [our] efforts by creating an image highlighting the development process while enhancing the brand," the carrier said in a statement. "Turkish Airlines has now positioned itself as an important player within the global aviation community and has won a significant number of awards that reinforce this status. It is now time to apply a new brand identity that emphasizes this impressive progress and moves the airline into its future.
The "Selfie Shootout" spot, which was viewed more than two million times during its first day on YouTube, also directs viewers to a Twitter destination with the hash tag, #KobeVsMessi.
Lead agency is Crispin Porter & Bogusky.
In the first spot with the two athletes, "Legends On Board," which broke last December, Bryant and Messi sought to outdo each other while in-flight for the attention of a young boy. He ultimately ops for the stewardess who brings him ice cream. That spot has been viewed more than 105 million times on YouTube.
The new campaign was unveiled during a media event in Los Angeles on Tuesday attended by Bryant, who has been a spokesman for Turkish Airlines for two years.
Bryant and Messi are each recovering from leg injuries. Bryant earns about $19 million in endorsement deals which also include Nike and Lenovo.