Advertiser: Reebok International
Agency: Heater, Boston
Challenge: Introduce a new shoe endorsed by tarnished pro basketball player Allen Iverson.
The Ad: A TV commercial pitching the $150 shoe flashes images of a menacing urban mural as a voice-over recites a rap song written for the spot. The lyrics talk about Iverson's "spats with the system" and his ability to rise above it--"accelerate, levitate"--with Reebok's "DMX 2 Triple O." Reebok worldwide advertising director John Wardley said the ad, aimed at urban teens and airing on MTV and the Black Entertainment Network and during NBA broadcasts, is intended as a "show of support" for Iverson, the Philadelphia 76ers star who was placed on three years' probation in August following a no-contest plea for gun possession. A marijuana possession charge was dropped as part of his plea agreement.