The ad campaign for the Foot Locker Week of Greatness is exceptional — easily one of the funniest and most entertaining series of commercials I’ve seen in 2014. Taking athletes and sports entertainers from boxing, basketball, and WWE, these commercials poke fun at the stars they feature. There are currently four ads in rotation and I love three of them, while the other…well, you’ll see.
Let’s start with the Manny Pacquiao commercial up top. It has two guys training in a boxing gym and chatting about the Foot Locker Week of Greatness. The dude hitting the heavy bag says, “The people wanted it and Foot Locker made it happen.” Pacquiao, training in the ring, overhears that last bit and thinks the two are talking about the much-wanted Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight. This spot cracks me up for several reasons. First, Manny’s Filipino accent is just funny (all my uncles sound like that). Secondly, this fight has been discussed for years and is way past the point where it matters anymore (aside from the huge money involved). While this would have been an incredible fight four or five years ago, boxing fans know that both fighters are past their primes and the fight wouldn’t be significant on an athletic level. Oh well, at least the preposterous negotiations gave us a funny commercial.
Next up is a spot that features Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden. While Harden’s offense has exploded since being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder, his defense has regressed. While it’s not nearly as bad as some make it out to be, there’s no doubt that his defensive efforts aren’t what they used to be. In the ad, Harden takes umbrage at being called defensive, saying that he’s never defensive and that he’s the last person you’ll ever see being defensive. It’s funny and I really like that Harden isn’t afraid to make fun of himself.
The commercial above is an NBA two-for. You get Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan! While it would have been hilarious to see Derrick Rose pretend to injure his knees due to excitement over the Foot Locker Week of Greatness, D-Rose is merely there for the assist. The real star of this commercial is Tim Duncan. Making fun of his reputation of being stoic and emotionless, Duncan expresses his excitement for the Foot Locker Week of Greatness in a wonderfully deadpan way. The part where he (not really) knocks over the plant kills me every time I see it.
Wrapping it up is a Foot Locker Week os Greatness featuring WWE Superstar John Cena. It makes fun of pro-wrestling being fake. It’s a cute spot and Cena has millions of fans…but I’m not one of them. He’s a super-nice guy, but I’ve never enjoyed Cena as a performer in WWE and I didn’t enjoy seeing him in this ad.
When you get a chance, check out all four Foot Locker Week of Greatness ads and let me know which one you like best (please!).