The $100 million 1994 campaign will seek to differentiate Reebok's footwear and apparel business while continuing to unite them under the "Planet Reebok" umbrella.
"We've increased our media spending by 25%, and we're doing it because we feel we finally have the weapons, in terms of our technical product, and we finally have the story, in terms of our star athletes," said David Ropes, director of marketing services.
The most dramatic difference is in how the marketer is showcasing Mr. O'Neal, the young National Basketball Association star and Reebok's answer to Nike marketing warhorse Michael Jordan.
Gone is the rap 'n' dunk wunderkind image fashioned last year by deposed agency Chiat/Day, New York. This year, Reebok and new agency Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, have given Mr. O'Neal a dual personality: "Shaq," the hard working basketball pro, and "Shaq Daddy," the off-the-court entertainer.
"As we learn more about what people want to know about Shaq, that's what we'll be showcasing about him." said Angel Angel Martinez, exec VP-worldwide advertising.
Shaq Daddy is the concept for a line of sandals and casual clothes hitting stores this fall. No ad effort is in the works, though Mr. Martinez said Reebok has approached Pepsi-Cola Co. about using the Shaq Daddy concept in Pepsi ads.
And Reebok is teaming with videogame marketer E.A. Sports to produce a Shaq Daddy basketball videogame due out by yearend.
"We have given Shaq a uniquely branded identity, and by creating a second brand through an athlete, we think we have created a very powerful marketing tool for us," Mr. Ropes said.
The first Burnett creative featuring Mr. O'Neal broke during the NBA all-star game Feb. 13 on NBC.
Mr. Ropes said Reebok's 1994 advertising will hit in three waves: March-April, July-August and late November.
"When we show up, we will show up huge, anywhere from 200 to 250 spots per week," he said.
The new Shaq spot, like the sports-oriented advertising Reebok will unveil this spring, emphasizes on-the-court performance of the star athlete while also attempting to reveal aspects of his personality.
During CBS' Winter Olympics broadcast, Reebok will break its much talked-about women's fitness campaign, "Reebok believes in athletes" and featuring figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.
Another spot breaking in March supports the 1994 Pre-Season cross-training shoe with Major League Baseball star Frank Thomas talking about belting home runs.
Reebok in March breaks an animated campaign from Ammirati & Puris, New York, for its Boks brand of casual shoes. June marks the start of a soccer-theme spot from Burnett, part of Reebok's marketing "ambush" of World Cup '94 sponsor Adidas America.