As a Jersey native I have to pay homage to two of my fellow NJ greats that are responsible for the title of my latest article. For those that missed the reference google and listen to the song “Funky Uncles”. But aside from the title and that reference this article has nothing to do with Reggie Noble. This article is about the starting point guard and one third of the Cleveland Cavaliers big three; Kyrie Irving. Well to be honest this article is kind of about Kyrie. We are actually going to focus on his alter ego Uncle Drew.
For those in the dark, Drew has made his return in his new four-minute commercial with Pepsi. This ad takes place with Miami as the backdrop and is simply known as “Chapter 4”. Drew is still on his mission to gather his squad for their epic return to simply “Get buckets”. He sits down with two old acquaintances, and they recant some old memories while discussing some current talent. Drew is then informed that a rival of his past has been shaming his name during his absence. Drew immediately heads to confront him on the matter, which ends in a game of “Horse” for the ages. The ad is directed, and of course stars Kyrie, while also featuring JB Smoove, Baron Davis, and Ray Allen. Drew has been a refreshing spokesperson for Pepsi, with fans immediately connecting with the ad and its many messages. In my personal opinion, I feel Kyrie should do more with Drew. Making other appearances as the character, having an option with him on NBA 2k maybe, as well as contending in one of the All-star weekend events as Uncle Drew. I feel it would bring a great spirit to the event as well some wider spread recognition to his brand.
It truly seems that Pepsi, Nike, and Kyrie have struck gold with this alter ego. These mini movies have brought back feelings of past genius marketing campaigns featuring athletes. Probably the three most popular that come to mind are “Grandmama”, the Jordan 1993 retirement adds featuring Steve Martin, and the Lil Penny commercials voice by Chris Rock. Grandmama was very simplistic for what it was, but was more than effective; probably being some inspiration for scenes in Martin Lawrence’s “Big Mama’s House”. The Jordan retirement commercials all eluded to the return we so greatly hoped for at that time; and also spawned a recent group of releases for ad characters Johnny Kilroy, Motorboat Jones, Fontay Montana, Bentley Ellis, Slim Jenkins, and Calvin Bailey. Lil Penny may have been the most illustrious alter ego of the past mainly, because he had some advertisements and segments that did not feature the athlete. But these campaigns all had something in common, they were about sneakers. Only recently with “The LeBron’s” and “Cliff Paul” have we seen commercials with these type of characters for endorsements not related to any sneakers. Kyrie has obviously been taking notes from all of these, and has created his own classic work. None of these other campaigns have been as long, as detailed, or involved this much acting by the athlete.
For a second some of you may have thought that I left the realm that I am so comfortable in, and delivered my first non-sneaker related article here at Social Lifestyle. Well I am sorry but you are all sadly mistaken. Along with releasing another great mini film commercial. Pepsi, Kyrie, and Nike have collaborated for a limited edition version of the Nike Kyrie 1. The shoe is restricted to 150 pairs, and is quite possibly the rarest Kyrie 1 to release so far. Equipped with a packaging to rival the packing of the Nike Air Mag. The Pepsi x Kyrie 1 comes in a mini locker that contains, the sneakers, a written letter from Uncle Drew, an Uncle Drew Bobblehead, a Pepsi x Drew Nike hoodie and some stickers to cover the locker in. The 150 has been exclusively given to some of the who’s who in the sneaker game. The shoe is what Nike would consider a friends and family release. The shoe features a white upper, gum sole, and Pepsi Blue 3m swoosh that contains some of Drew’s greatest quotes. The perfect release to compliment the promotion and as a natural mystique to their campaign.
There is some good news about the release for us averages joes though. Pepsi is offering 15 pairs up to those who choose to enter the contest for the packages. The contest will be open until December 3rd, and can be entered a maximum of 63 times. The contest must be entered by using points on their Pepsi Pass App. I, like many of you am hoping to strike it rich, and be chosen as a winner for the contest. I think the shoe is beautiful, the marketing is spot on; and also as I said earlier I have to support someone from my state. In short, good luck and remain fresh Youngbloods.
Shouts to Sneaker Sensei for the great work