Shaq has his fingerprints all over the marketing world, from starring in numerous Papa Johns commercials (he’s also a board member) to co-founding a diversity-focused marketing firm. Arguably his most visible contribution is as a brand ambassador for auto insurance group The General. The partnership began in 2016, though its ties unofficially date back to 1989, when Shaq bought insurance from The General while a student-athlete at Louisiana State University.
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Now, The General is undergoing a brand refresh, including a new logo, evolved mascot and a campaign called “The Break,” meant to emphasize the company’s ability to offer consumers a break when they need it most. The title also comes from a pre-existing docuseries about the NBA G League, which is narrated by Shaq and presented by The General.
“The Break,” created by Energy BBDO as part of its first work with The General, consists of four spots starring Shaq, which roll out this spring and summer on TV, social and digital channels. One of the ads follows Shaq buying Puerto Rican shaved ice from a street vendor, and is The General’s first commercial entirely produced in Spanish.
Another ad depicts a “when it rains, it pours” type of day, and co-stars Kyle Craven, a.k.a “Bad Luck Brian”—the iconic meme of misfortune.
“I didn’t know [he] was real, until I saw him and went, ‘Oh shit, you’re Bad Luck Brian,’” Shaq said. He added, however, that he still prefers the “Shaq Shimmy” meme, for which he owns the rights.