Kobe Bryant, arguably the most popular professional basketball player in the world and heir apparent to Michael Jordan, is enjoying a stellar season; one in which he led his Lakers atop the western conference rankings and managed to score his first and long awaited MVP trophy. Surely those accomplishments are enough to please any pro-athlete, right? Not Kobe. He doesn’t seem to be done adding to his accolades this season as he has his sights set on his fourth championship in his 12 year career. Last week he led the Lakers past the defending champions the San Antonio Spurs to secure their spot in the NBA Finals where they will be facing the Boston Celtics.
While this may be very exciting for sports fans, especially Laker fans (Jack Nicholson must be ecstatic), it isn’t something unforeseen, is it? The 29 year old has defined his career with his winning attitude, intense work ethic, and humble demeanor, so getting back to the top of the mountain was a probability, not just a possibility. As a basketball fan, I wasn’t at all shocked by this, in fact I could have predicted the Lakers’ success this season, but what I would have never been able to predict is Kobe’s recent uncharacteristic, pompous YouTube ads. As his 45 million dollar, five year Nike contract is nearing its end; viral ads have been running on YouTube for a few weeks now to promote his new Nike sneaker, the Hyper Dunks. These ads aren’t actual commercials, but more like amateur videos where Kobe is exhibiting an arrogant aura as he is performing various stunts.
The first video shows Kobe in what seems to be a parking lot, as he jumps over an oncoming Aston Martin. Unlike the calm and composed Kobe that sports fans have become accustomed to, his attitude throughout the video was quite the opposite. Although, I did find the video interesting and entertaining, I found myself staring at the computer screen with an annoyed look on my face. Then, as if the first video (which I deduced was fake) didn’t irritate me enough, I come to find out that he put out a second one, which was a hundred times more phony then the first, in which he is jumps over a pool of snakes.
Putting my personal opinion aside, I was intrigued by these ads mainly because of the marketing medium that was used. YouTube is a growing community of active sharing and posting. For anyone who doesn’t know, you can find videos on just about anything on YouTube, whether it be instructional/tuturiol videos, clips of your favorite T.V. shows, or even music videos. So, be that as it may, if you were trying to advertise an upcoming new product, why not use Youtube?
Oh yeah…one last thing; as if Kobe’s ads didn’t annoy me enough, in a recent interview he actually had the nerve to say that both of the videos were in fact real. REAL!?!...I highly, highly doubt that, but check the videos out for yourselves and form your own opinion, don’t let me influence you.
Aston Martin Jump
Snake Pool Jump