Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kobe Bryant + Aston Martin = Marketing, Hollywood Style

In Hollywood, anything is possible; expect the unexpected as some might say.

Riding on Kobe’s ascension to the top, Nike has unveiled its new Hyperdunk basketball shoe endorsed by Kobe which will be launched in July. To generate buzz surrounding the new product, Nike enlisted help from Aston Martin to create a tag team that we haven’t seen since the last James Bond movie.

This video has Kobe sporting his latest gear and attempting to jump over a Aston Martin that is directly driving towards him. In real life, this is not only very risky but almost humanly impossible. In true Hollywood fashion, this is made possible by using special effects and camera techniques.

The commercial was released in April (online only) and since then became THE topic among basketball fans around the world. This brings us to the subject – What does this have to do with marketing.

Viral marketing is a term coined by a Harvard professor in 1996 to define marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.

This ad was one of the most watched videos on the internet during the initial release. Hoops forum/websites, ESPN, sports radios were flooded with thousands of threads and responses.

Kudos to Nike: this is a winner.

P.S. – YouTube is now part of Google, can you imagine all the possibilities and potentials? If you find another company that is more destined to become the world’s first $1 trillion company, let me know.