A short piece in Brandweek caught my attention yesterday. It was about a new video entitled "The Sixty Million Dollar Man," produced by Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash to promote a Nike shoe that Nash has worn since February called the "Trash Talk." The shoe is environmentally-friendly as it is made out of leather scraps and waste. The release of the video coincided with Earth Day.
The video is well-worth checking out, not only because it is a very clever spoof of the original "Six Million Dollar Man" program from 30 years ago and has amazing special effects, but also because it demonstrates the continuing embrace of broadband by brand marketers. This is a trend that I've been covering for a while on VideoNuze (check out here and here for more).
Of course, Nike has long been one of the most innovative advertisers, mixing subtle brand promotion with compelling examples of athletic achievement. The new 90 second Nash spot, available on YouTube, follows Nash's first effort, entitled "Training Day," which itself now has about 300K views on YouTube are in keeping with these traditions. (Apparently Nash is an avid film-maker and also an environmentalist.) In both spots, the only Nike promotion is a swoosh in the closing frame. Both are great examples of sponsored, yet engaging entertainment that would be very expensive to execute on-air.
Broadband is opening all kinds of new doors for brand advertisers. Initiatives seem to fall into 2 buckets: original entertainment/informative videos like the Nash spots, and user-generated contests like the recent TideToGo and Heinz Top This efforts. I expect we'll see a lot more broadband experimentation from brands to come.