By Barry Janoff
October 7, 2015: Take this as gospel or with a grain of salt, but Charles Barkley is trapped in the Web.
That might be bad news for his fans, either those from his NBA Hall of Fame days or his current job as commentator and analyst for Turner Sports' NBA on TNT. Or it might be good news for those people who find Barkley's no-holds barred style too irritating and abrasive.
Either way, Barkley is trapped in the ether world of the Internet thanks to a new campaign from technology solutions provider CDW.
The multi-media effort, literally called "Charles Barkley Is Trapped In The Internet," is an off-shoot of the company's "People Who Get IT" platform, which Barkley has been part of since 2012.
CDW’s partners in the campaign include HP, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, APC and FireEye.
The purpose of the campaign, according to Neal Campbell, svp and CMO for Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW, is to show that, “In today’s ever-changing business environment, organizations must be prepared for anything — and need a technology solutions provider who can help at a moment’s notice."
The campaign is anchored by several TV spots and supported by radio, social media and Internet, including a dedicated "Mission Control" Web site.
The spots will run during Monday Night Football broadcasts on ESPN, on college game day and during other sporting events on ESPN, ABC and Westwood One.
In the opening spot for the effort, "Charles Barkley Vanishes," he leaves his position as an executive in the IT department at fictional company Gordon & Taylor to go on a trip. As he is going through airport security, the scanning machine triggers somehting in his smartphone, which leads to him somehow being trapped in the Internet.
As CDW and its partners work to save him while they are "Monitoring" his moves, Barkley "Crashes An Unboxing Video" and "Discovers the World of Internet Videos."
The "Mission Control" site will have videos and content exclusive to the campaign.
"The approach for this campaign is a lighthearted take on the integral link between technology and business, and how CDW’s technology solutions help our customers achieve their goals," said Campbell.
Since aligning with CDW for ad campaigns — which usually air during March Madness, when Barkley is part of the joint CBS-Turner on-air team covering the NCAA hoops event — Gordon & Taylor has won at basketball, won new business by losing at golf, won at football despite having a stadium but no team and offered "for sale" a faux line of signature products, including Barkley 34 cologne ("Smells like a locker room") and the Round Mound of Rebound Pound Cake Mix (a reference to one of Barkley's nicknames).
CDW said that it "works for small, medium and large business, government, education and health-care customers." CDW said it generated $12 billion in net sales in 2014.
CDW Offers Tech Solutions, Round Mound Of Rebound Pound Cake
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