By Barry Janoff
December 18, 2015: According to StoreNBA.com, the top-selling items with a week to go until Christmas include Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Derrick Rose jerseys; Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors hats; and almost any item associated with Kobe Bryant.
But there also is a bevy of unorthodox products available for gifting and re-gifting — including NBA-themed balloons, yoga mats and even Argyle Sock Monkeys — which take center stage in a humorous campaign breaking today across NBA broadcast partners and digital outlets.
A lead 30-second spot, “Stars from Stars,” features tongue-in-cheek reviews from a group of NBA players, who each give their opinion — five stars is the rule rather than the exception — on an eclectic array of goodies that the NBA would like to see fans and consumers buy and share.
Among them, John Wall (Washington Wizards) reviews the Yoga Mat and 16 oz. Tumblers, Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) gives his opinion on Argyle Sock Monkeys, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves) tout NBA Balloons, Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls) reviews Fanny Packs and Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) assesses BBQ Sets and Plush Dolls.
None of the players reviews NBA Ugly Sweaters, Team USA Gear or Michael Jordan Throwback and Classic Jerseys, all of which already are on the "Hot List" at Store.NBA.com.
"I'm always asked, 'Why do you have a Chicago Bulls Argyle Sock Monkey?'" says Butler as he cuddles the $29.99 product and the words "Cuddly," "Soft" and Dapper" appear on the screen. "And I always say, 'Why don't you have one?!'"
Wall is in the Wizards locker room sitting on a Yoga Mat ($39.99). "Mediation is about thinking of nothing," he thinks via voiceover as text describes the product: "Non-Slip Surface," "Ultra-Think Foam" and "Embroidered."
Lillard is seen playing with a mini Plush Doll version of himself ($19.99) and teammates LaVine and Wiggins are in a room playing with Minnesota Timberwolves Balloons (Three-Pack for $9.99)
A voiceover offers, "For all the basics and so much more," with text, "NBAStore.com: One Store, Every Team." (See the full spot here.)
In one 15-second breakout spot, Wall says "Victory!" as he drinks from a 16 oz. Wizards "Tumbler" ($18.99), which comes with the disclaimer, "Tumbler Doesn't Guarantee Victory."
In another 15-second spot, Lillard is sitting in front of an indoor fireplace preparing to "BBQ." "Have you ever asked yourself what life would be like as a vegetarian? Portland BBQ Set $51.99, chef's hat included) has the answer: Hungry," he says as he sniffs a cooked steak.
And in "Fanny Pack," Butler reveals for the first time what he keeps in his Bulls Fanny Pack: Another Fanny Pack ($24.99).
In addition to network and broadcast airing, the spots will get splashed across such social media outlets as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
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