By Barry Janoff
July 12, 2013: Amar'e Stoudemire, James Hardin and Kris Humphries are among the NBA players who have been part of recent Foot Locker commercials and activations touting the retailer's athletic shoes and sportswear. products.
Now, it's Shaquille O'Neal's turn.
The campaign fronted by O'Neal supports the re-release of Shaqnosis, part of the Reebok Classic line at Foot Locker and Footlocker.com. They come in a black-and-white circular design intended to resemble the wheel that is used during hypnosis.
According to Reebok, the Shaqnosis was originally released in 1995 when O'Neal was a member of the Orlando Magic. O'Neal retired in 2011 and is now a TV analyst and business entrepreneur.
Foot Locker is supporting with Internet, social media including Twitter and Facebook and POP.
In "Conversation Lift," from BBDO, New York, the 7' 1" O'Neal is seen at a party wearing a pair of Shaqnosis, fitted to his comfort in size 22. Although not a problem for O'Neal, it is for rapper Tyga, who at 5'8" and in a room filled with loud music needs help to hear what Shaq is saying to him.
Fortunately, Shaq has brought along his "conversation lift," a mini-elevator that takes Tyga (and, apparently, anyone else who needs to speak with Shaq but stands less than 6'1"), up to O'Neal's ear level.
At the party, Tyga approaches Shaq and eyes his shoes. "Shaq, those Reeboks is fresh," Tyga says
"What?" asks O'Neal, who points to the lift apparatus next to him. Tyga gets on, and pulls a lever that raises the rapper up.
"I said, 'Those Reeboks is fresh," Tyga repeats.
"Thank you, Tyga," Shag replies. "Called Shaqnosis."
Thinking the conversation is over, Tyga then pushes the lever, lowering him back to earth.
But Shaq isn't finished. "You can get them at Foot Locker," O'Neal explains. Now it's Tyga who can't hear Shaq, so he again pulls the lift lever to bring himself back up.
"What was that?" asks Tyga.
"Foot Locker!" bellows Shaq. "Foot Locker," Tyga nods as he heads down again.
"They were made before you were born," O'Neal continues, now obviously messing with Tyga.
Although the statement actually is wrong since the 23-year-old was born in 1989, Tyga once more needs to return back up to Shaq to hear what he has said.
"You say somethin'? Tyga asks Shaq. "No," O'Neal says, hiding a devilish smile. "I didn't say anything."
A confused Tyga heads down again for what he hopes is the last time. "I thought I heard you say something," he says. Shaq smirks, apparently awaiting his next victim. (See the full spot here.)
The Shaqnosis is the most recent in a line of Reebok Shaq shoes being re-released, following the Shaq Attaq this past May.
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