Nike has always been a basketball apparel powerhouse. Why wouldn’t they be? LeBron James, and Michael Jordan before that, have been the face of the brand for years. Then, Derrick Rose happened. Rose chose adidas over everyone else the summer before his rookie season, launching the company’s basketball brand into new heights.
D-Rose was the star adidas wanted in today’s game. He’s a flashy player, but one who still has a lot of heart. He only cares about winning. It also helps that Rose is one of the most electrifying players to watch in the league, and while adidas had stars before, Tracy McGrady and Kobe Bryant to name a few, they’ve really stepped up their game with D-Rose.
Over the past few years, adidas came up with clever and entertaining marketing ideas through their captivating commercials. With the unveiling of a new shoe — the D Rose 4 — and the strong quality of the D-Rose adidas commercials, I had to develop a top 10 list of his best commercials with the brand to date.
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10. “THIS IS THE TRUTH”
Coming in at number 10 is the “This is The Truth” ad, which ran in late 2010 advertising the adidas adiZero Rose. It was one of the first major D-Rose shoe commercials.
The reason for it coming in at number 10 is because it’s the commercial to launch D-Rose’s incredible adidas shoe campaign. It’s also very truthful. D-Rose describes that he isn’t the greatest, he isn’t the second coming of Michael Jordan. Instead he explains that he will get there. The best line in the commercial comes at the end: “I’m fast because I am light.” A statement that follows the theme of the shoe. A powerful commercial for, at that time, an up-and-coming player, which is why it sits at the 10 spot.
9. DERRICK ROSE & SLIM CHIN
Next on this list is definitely the most humorous of the D-Rose adidas commercials. D-Rose takes on Slim Chin (played by Ken Jeong) as he narrates the whole commercial. The ad first ran in 2010 for the adidas adiZero Rose.
My favorite thing about this commercial is it blends both humor and style to showcase the kicks. Rose swiftly moves around the cocky Slim Chin, illustrating the speed given by the shoe. Chin explains how his expensive get-up makes him fast like D-Rose. Using the actor Ken Jeong is usually a good idea for a commercial. Add D-Rose to that and you can’t lose, easily making this the number nine pick.
8. LOGO STORY
Sitting at the eight spot is the commercial that unveiled the new D-Rose logo for adidas. The ad ran in 2012, which makes me assume that it was a rebranding of his image following the injury that took place earlier in the year.
“You don’t call yourself a superstar. That’s for other people to say.” Opening a commercial with a line like this will definitely grab people’s attention. The folks at adidas is very good at that. They are also very good at wrapping their brand around the identity of a player. Rose explains that this is his story and it’s just the beginning, hinting that once he comes back he will get much better. A convincing commercial nonetheless, making it my eighth favorite.
7. ADIZERO ROSE 1.5 “LIGHT MAKES FAST”
The number seven pick definitely portrays the quickness that this signature sneaker line offers. The adiZero Rose 1.5 ad ran in 2011.
With Rose shooting down the court passing everyone in his way, the announcers are shocked by what they see. Yelling out, “What the… fast!” as D-Rose gets to the rim, making this an exhilarating commercial. Also D-Rose spinning a shoe on his finger at the beginning definitely helps the cause. This probably could be higher on the list, but having little significance outside the shoe itself, it lands at seven.
6. “JUMP WITH DERRICK ROSE IN LONDON”
In the summer of 2013, D-Rose headed to London to open the new D Rose Jump Store. Hundreds of fans got the chance to jump and grab a pair of signature D Rose shoes on a 10-foot ledge. The video is filled with NBA-esque jumps of fans grabbing their favorite pair of sneakers as their hero watches. I wanted to go much higher with this pick — that instrumental is just so dope — but the top five have a wider range of importance. So, “Jump with D Rose in London” will sit at six.
Starting out the top five is the adidas adiZero Crazy Light commercial, which first ran in 2011. The commercial was heavily focused on what this new shoe had to offer, being the lightest basketball shoe ever.
D Rose tells us to remember 9.8 at the beginning of the commercial as the “I Do It” instrumental by Big Sean plays around the narration of Rose. He tells us confidently that it isn’t the amount of time left on the clock or how many times he will light you up, but how many ounces his new kicks weigh… emphasis is on the light weight because it is the lightest basketball shoe ever made. It was an interesting idea and definitely one everyone will remember. We still remember the first time we saw this commercial — definitely one of the best of the last few years.
Here’s the remix with Big Sean:
4. “YOUNGEST MVP EVER”
As adidas has already shown, they are big fans of themes within their commercials to help sell their products. Running in 2011, the ad focuses on D-Rose coming off his MVP win. It is filled with sound bites of Rose from the beginning of his MVP season, asking why he can’t be the MVP of the league.
As the highlights of Rose fade and the crowd chants MVP, “Youngest MVP in NBA History” runs across the black screen. This is definitely a flawless way to end this commercial. If you weren’t sold on Rose before, you will be after watching this.
3. “THE RETURN OF D ROSE: WAKE UP”
This could possibly be the number one video, but since Rose has yet to play, it sits at number three. A captivating commercial to say the least, Rose’s return is what many Bulls and NBA fans were thinking about at the start of the 2012-2013 season. The commercial ran along with the D Rose 3 sneaker.
The video shows that the world has stopped once Rose went down, but once he gets back up the return will be glorious. A compelling ad for D Rose, and if he actually did return last season, it would’ve been higher on my list.
2. “ALL IN FOR CHICAGO”
The newest of all the Derrick Rose adidas commercials, this one seems like “Wake Up, Part 2.” It is running along with the D Rose 4 shoe, which was officially unveiled last weekend.
The ad focuses on Rose’s dedication to his fans and that his goal is to still bring them an NBA title. He asks questions at the beginning of the video that many people have been asking about him. Is Rose still capable of being great and bringing Chicago back to glory? Time will tell, but if you’re from Chicago and this didn’t give you goosebumps, you need to check your pulse.
Last weekend at the D Rose 4 launch, Dime heard Rose say this was his favorite commercial ever. Why? It’s the most authentic. We asked him about it and he told us: “You’re just showing your fans with all of the support… just not wanting to let them down. I know that a lot of people are talking about me. There’s been a lot of criticism about me, about me playing, people are suggesting what type of player I’m gonna be, already assuming what type of player I’m gonna be. Well how do they know if I don’t know yet? It’s kinda crazy hearing that but at the same time, it drives me as a player, and it drives me as a person to not be like them people, not to be so judgmental.”
1. “THE BULL”
At the number one position is easily my favorite among all the commercials. It’s incredibly clever and showcases the shoe’s quickness like never before. The ad ran in 2011 and was one of the most watched ads of that year. The commercial is for the adidas adiZero Rose 2, making Rose seem quicker than he has ever been.
D-Rose is dodging matadors all around as he shows that he has outsmarted them and is much quicker than they anticipated. He is blowing by the matadors like he blows by his defenders on the hardwood. Rose finishes with a powerful dunk on the other end as the crowd erupts into cheers. Not only is this my favorite Rose/adidas commercial, but it is among one of my favorite commercials ever.
The Derrick Rose/adidas duo has pushed out all of these incredible commercials in just four years, making it clear there will be many more to come.
What are your favorite D-Rose and adidas commercials?
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