When it comes to highly stylized, dramatic, pitch-perfect sports commercials, nobody does it quite like Nike. We can give them their props for that. Their first LeBron James/chalk commercial, for example, was a brilliant encapsulation of the exuberance and spectacle of his ritual chalk toss or whatever he wants to call it. It was cool.
Their latest endeavor, via FIRST CUTS, is substantially more mystifying. Why doesn’t LeBron’s puppet’s voice sound anything like him? Why is his frenetic behavior so completely unlike LeBron’s demeanor both on and off the court? What are they trying to drive home with all this white powder? Oh god, they’re not seriously suggesting … well, see for yourself, after the jump.
More questions? Sure, why not. Why is he with Kobe Bryant? Why is Kobe wearing a hat? Why is Lebron just blurting things out like Wesley Willis?
Basically, this is like a skit on Crank Yankers, except “Special Ed” (no, not him) is wearing a Cavs jersey, his new catchphrase is “playoffs,” and he’s about to dive nose-first into a mountain of high-grade booger sugar like his name was Ike Turner (he loved drugs like crazy).
Look, we’re happy Kanye West isn’t Autotuning about how amazing he is for the 17 trillionth time in this postseason, and a little jazz is always good for the soul. But what a spectacularly bad commercial. It doesn’t do a thing for LeBron’s brand and turns his chalk act into a farce. Granted, that much is accurate, but we’re not supposed to acknowledge that until after the playoffs, when he shows up on some lame SNL skit where he insists on chalking up before every mundane task. Not like this, LeBron. Not like this.