SBD/Issue 49/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Enjoy The Shrimp: T-Mobile Debuts Latest Ad With Barkley, Wade

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T-Mobile's ad campaign featuring Heat G Dwyane Wade and TNT's Charles Barkley "launched a new season Thursday night with the addition to the mix" of Rockets C Yao Ming, according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The ad, produced via Publicis USA, Seattle, and titled "Yao's Comfort Food," shows Barkley and Wade "at a Chinese restaurant with what the waitress describes as Yao's favorite dish -- drunken shrimp." It premiered during halftime of TNT's coverage of Pistons-Celtics Thursday, and T-Mobile Dir of Advertising Jenna Beardsley-Smith said that the spot is the "first of three in T-Mobile's fourth season of NBA-themed advertisements" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/21). Later additions to the TV campaign during the '08-09 season will feature Magic C Dwight Howard and Basketball HOFers Magic Johnson and Julius Erving (NBA). After the ad debuted Thursday night, TNT's studio crew discussed it for several minutes, where Barkley noted it took a full day to film. TNT's Ernie Johnson: “We figured after that you needed some comfort food.” Two waitresses from Beautiful Restaurant in Atlanta came onto the set with plates of food for Johnson, Barkley and TNT's Kenny Smith. The three then ate while going over highlights of the first half. Smith, laughing at Barkley, said, “We gotta move this food, this guy cannot concentrate.” Barkley: “I’ll slap the hell out of you any second now” (“Inside the NBA,” TNT, 11/20).

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