Michael Jordan's player number "23" has a central role in the launch spot for the global marketing platform from basketball video game NBA 2K23—but rather than the player himself, ordinary video game players are the focus of the film.
The campaign was created via Adam&Eve/DDB which won creative duties earlier this year along with sister shop DDB San Francisco. Its tagline, "Answer The Call," is designed to bring in a wider audience of NBA2K23 players than ever before by showing that everyone who plays the video game has a chance for their own shot at greatness. The game itself will feature so-called "Jordan Challenges," which will allow players to take their own shot at greatness by replaying some of Jordan’s most iconic career moments.
The launch film features Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker and American rapper Jack Harlow, who also narrates the film. It shows ordinary 2K players, starting with a young woman staring up at a statue of Jordan, imagining themselves "answering the call" and scoring dressed in Jordan's "23" jersey. The narration starts with the line: "You know that old saying that everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame?" We go on to see videogame players imagining themselves signing shoes, featuring in murals and celebrating the locker room.
The film is set to the soundtrack of the iconic "Hypnotize" by hip-hop legend The Notorious B.I.G and directed by Bradford Young at Serial Pictures, who picked up a Grand Prix in Film at Cannes Lions in June for Channel 4's "Super.Human."
The launch film is accompanied by multiple companion spots and social content, to be rolled out over the next six months in phases. Additional content features an array of NBA stars, such as the Chicago Bulls' All-Star Zach LaVine and Chet Holmgren, who was selected second overall in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Later in the year, the brand will give players a chance to memorialize their own greatness both in the game and in a series of activations across the season.
“Modern-day greatness is more than trophies and rings," said Dave Brown and Daniel Bonder, executve creative directors at Adam&EveNYC, in a joint statement. "It’s the shoe deals, the hip-hop song shoutouts and the building-size murals. With this campaign, we wanted to give every gamer a taste of the greatness that can be achieved through NBA2K23. Of course, it always helps having Devin Booker, Zach Lavine, Chet Holmgren and Jack Harlow delivering the message.”
The campaign will run across key markets in the U.S., EMEA and Asia. Media is handled by PHD Media.