Athletes and Commercials: What makes a good one?

Athletes acting in commercials is nothing new. We usually see them in a commercial selling auto insurance, pizza, tv packages, you name it. Usually these commercials don’t end up so well. Trying to tell a person who has no acting experience to sell a product is like telling a art major to solve for pi.

This week we were given two commercials from big time athletes. Today I wanna take a look at both and dive into why one works and the other one falls flat on it’s face.

Let’s go with the bad news first:

So when I saw this video pop up on my YouTube trending I was pumped! What’s not to like? Tom Brady, god’s gift to football, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who might be the greatest human being to ever live. So why was it when the video was over, I felt disappointed?

Well first off they tried to make this video not look like an ad, so we feel betrayed when we find out it’s just a ploy to sell Under Armour sleepwear.

Second, they don’t actually interact with each other, we just get Brady sitting on a pile of rocks making a video that resembles something my 12yr old nephew would make, and the Rock reacting to the video. ┬áThe video’s title is “TOM BRADY TAKES ON THE ROCK”. I was at least expecting them to arm wrestle or something!

And third, the acting is just so forced and insincere.

I feel like I missed out on a joke or something. Did I? If so, someone please fill me in cause I expect better from these two awesome people and from Under Armour.

Now the great:

Holy! Was that not one of the best commercials you’ve seen in awhile?!

It has everything we wanted. Two amazing athletes/teammates having fun making a commercial. It gives the fans what they want. When Burns says “That’s some spicy salad you got rocking” I thought for a second I was back in my teams locker room haha. Brent Burns and Joe Thornton came off as truly genuine in that commercial. Just 2 guys having fun, making a commercial, and not taking it so seriously.

It got the message across loud and clear too. Come cheer us on, cause we play for you.

Now trust me, getting a commercial this good only comes once in a blue moon, so props to the Sharks marketing team. It’s hard to get that kind of commercial right but when it works, it works.

So what can we take away from all this? Well for me, it was that when I create commercials I need not be afraid of having a little fun with it. Not every commercials needs to be as epic as 300. I also learned that I need to let my athletes have more say in what they’re doing while filming the commercial. Let them be themselves and the rest will fall into place, having a script is good but we need to use it more as a guideline than a rule book.

So take notes of the Sharks commercial and remember that practice makes perfect & you can never have enough shots.

Thank god for Hockey.