A room full of cameramen, assistants, Krispy Kreme executives and film producers are doubled over in laughter. On the monitors, a room away, Shaquille O’Neal, once the most dominant force in basketball, is blasting Beyoncé off of his phone and serenading a doughnut as he slowly eats it. For the next 20 minutes, O’Neal shuffles through music on his phone for an impromptu karaoke session, mostly playing, as he calls them, “’80s white guy classics.”
It’s a Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, the work home of O’Neal, both at Turner where he does Inside the NBA and as the proud new owner of the Krispy Kreme off of Ponce de Leon Avenue. O’Neal sits at a table where for two hours as he shoots a new commercial advertising the company’s newest addition to the menu, coffee.
The idea for the ad is simple. Blind taste testers come in and try one cup of coffee, and then a cup of Krispy Kreme’s coffee along with a doughnut. However, the star of the show is O’Neal, who surprises the testers when they walk in by his presence. At times, he tries his best to hide and surprise them as they walk in, but there are few things in the East Atlanta studio large enough to proved cover for the mammoth of a man.
Once at the table, O’Neal presents the coffee and doughnuts and has a little fun with the testers before sending them on their way.