Nike Dribbles to the Beat with Kyrie-Questlove Duet
As the Grammy’s have come and gone, it’s only a matter of time until that really cool song from this year is butchered and slapped onto some commercial. Music and ads are practically synonymous—from catchy jingles to product placement in song lyrics. In 2017, it was a duet with a solo that kicked off the year’s music in ads.
In late 2016, Nike wanted to promote then-Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving’s new kicks, the Kyrie 3. Irving was fresh off a championship upset with LeBron James & Co. over the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The Roots’ Questlove owned late night as the band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. So, Nike and R/GA Los Angeles paired the two together in Improv.
Irving dribbled and crossed-over and improvised ball handles with dizzying ease as Questlove ripped off a furious drum solo in synchronization, scoring Irving’s every move. It was a departure from Nike and Irving’s earlier, goofier campaigns. It was exciting and serious. It highlighted Irving’s basketball skills and added to his reputation as the best “baller” in the NBA. Both music and basketball thrive on planning and improvisation, and this ad was perfect for both.
These were two guys at the top of their game—and they still are. Nike and Kyrie Irving’s ads soon returned to their goofy selves, and Questlove found his way back to 30 Rock. But for a brief moment, Nike, Irving, and Questlove came together and captured both our eyes and ears.
- SOURCE: Nike Kyrie 3 Web Page
- BRANDS: Nike, Kyrie Irving, Questlove
- WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: Because the combo of music & movement strikes the right note