James Harden has become one of the faces of nearly every ad campaign adidas puts out these days, and the apparel company’s newest is no different. Titled “Sport Needs Creators,” the ad champions athletes who assert their individuality in their sports, rather than doing things “the right way” and becoming part of a long line of cogs in the machine. Sounds about right for the surreal Beard.
Harden shows up to wear a funny hat, Von Miller shows off his grills, incoming NBA rookies Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram and Jamal Murray goof around and trash talk the camera, Kris Bryant hits a baseball next to a goat and pretends he’s doing something rebellious (incidentally, Bryant is a beast), and it’s all fun. You know what’s more fun, though? Imagining the joyless taskmaster coaches — your Nick Sabans and Bill Belichicks — seething at this ad campaign. Imagine the next wave of young superstars seeing this ad and taking the message to heart. “You know what? I DON’T just need to blurt canned quotes about ‘what’s best for the team.’ I’m going to start calling games ‘lit’ and reporters ‘fam’! I’m gonna be ME!” It would be an old coach’s nightmare.
Let’s take a moment for the true star of the commercial, though — Aaron Rodgers. For as much charisma as he has on the field and in interviews, he’s notoriously stiff in his State Farm commercials. But put him on the football field in your ad, and that swagger is back. Love the distance throw-to-smug-turnaround move.