The TV and cinema ads eschew camera tricks or special effects, using merely a motionless camera and a simple black stage upon which well-known athletes perform. Each athlete attempts to outdo the last.
The "hypnotic rhythm" of the soundtrack was created using traditional musical instruments in a score composed by Steve Brown and Afrika Bambaataa, and later mixed with the sound recorded by the athletes -- such as the bounce of the ball or the squeak of shoes.
The effort was devised by the W&K creative team in Amsterdam, along with Jimmy Smith, a copywriter from W&K's Portland, Oregon office.
The two ads center on soccer and basketball. "Freestyle Basketball" is based on an existing U.S. ad, written by Mr. Smith, from which a new cut was made for the international run.
"[We took] the essence of hip-hop and sports and put it on film," Mr. Smith said. "Hip-hop is the driving force behind 90% of all youth culture around the world."
The campaign kicks off Aug. 23 across 25 countries. The budget is not disclosed. -- Suzanne Bidlake
Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.