SBD/August 23, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

You're The Piano Man: Kobe Unveils Secret Talent In New Lenovo Ad

Lakers G Kobe Bryant is one of Lenovo’s "main international pitch men" and is featured in the company's "latest advertisement touting their place as the fastest growing mobile brand," according to Brett Pollakoff of NBCSPORTS.com. The spot features Bryant "explaining how the brand always knows how to deliver incredible performance, before he takes to the piano himself to play a portion of Beethoven’s 'Moonlight Sonata.'” It is "arguably one of the worst ways to use an athlete or otherwise famous personality in a promotional spot, because after about 20 seconds it just becomes nothing more than a boring piano recital" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/23). Bryant earlier this year signed a deal to endorse Lenovo smartphones in China and Southeast Asia (THE DAILY).

SIGN OF THINGS TO COME? Heat F LeBron James in Nike's new commercial celebrating 25 years of the "Just Do It" slogan participates in a slam dunk contest, and ESPN's Skip Bayless said James is "mocking more than he is marketing." James has been "teasing us for years" about participating in the dunk contest at All-Star Game. ESPN's Chris Broussard said James is not "mocking" the contest in his new Nike ad and the "commercial is what it is, they just happened to make it a dunk contest" ("First Take," ESPN2, 8/22).
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