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REEBOK GOES ALL OUT, AGAINST ZOMBIES AND NIKE, IN NEW ADS
Published May 12, 1998
The new Reebok ad campaign "looks like something out of Cecil B. DeMille," according to Chris Reidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. Partly filmed at an abandoned Soviet army base in Prague, Reebok's "epic ads have an epic job to do." The new ad opens with a marathon run by clones, before one individual breaks lose from the pack "to reveal a free spirit." The spot closes as "a Reebok-shod foot crushes a mask" of one of the clones. The TV ads will break Monday, May 25, during the NBA playoffs, and will later run in about one-third of U.S. movie theaters (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/12). GLOVES ARE OFF: Reidy reports that "at first glance," the message of the ad seems similar to Nike's "I can" theme, but the imagery and mood are "very different." Throughout the ads, the number 97005 constantly appears, and Reidy notes that 97005 is the zip code for Beaverton, OR, where Nike is based. Reebok Dir of Global Advertising John Wardley: "We've really decided to take the gloves off with this one." The tagline for the ads, from Berlin Cameron & Partners, NY, is still being "tweaked," with one top candidate being, "Creating possibilities. One athlete at a time" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/12). USA TODAY's Melanie Wells calls the ads reminiscent of the film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Reebok VP/Marketing Brenda Goodell: "There are moments you wait for and this was one of them; the market is in disarray and there's a window of opportunity." Reebok is "expected to spend about" $15M on "its first ad effort" from Berlin Cameron & Partners (Melanie Wells, USA TODAY, 5/12).