By Barry Janoff
September 16, 2013: During his playing days in the NBA, Dennis Rodman was best known for his defensive prowess, funky sense of style and off-the-court antics.
Lately, the Pro Basketball Hall of Famer has been associated with a unique sense of international diplomacy thanks to his two meetings with Kim Jong Un, the anti-American leader of North Korea.
"He has to do his job, but he's a very good guy," Rodman said during a recent press conference regarding Jong Un, whose nation has been called "a clear and present danger" to the U.S. by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel due to, among other reasons, North Korea's stockpile of missiles.
It could appear to some that Rodman's next endeavor is another small step in the same direction: He has signed a deal to represent Wonderful Pistachios in a national multi-media campaign. To keep the message consistent, Rodman appears alongside an actor who resembles Jong Un, who, in turn, has access to a nuclear device.
Wonderful Pistachios has also added other spokespersons: A woman who advocates "prandersicising" as a way to lose weight, an elephant and rebooted outtakes from King Kong and the classic shower scene with Norman Bates from the movie Psycho.
All the activations continue Wonderful Pistachios' marketing mantra: "Get Crackin'."
“Wonderful Pistachios is proud to be celebrating the fifth year of the Get Crackin’ campaign,” Marc Seguin, vp-global sales and marketing for Wonderful Pistachios' parent company, Paramount Farms, said in a statement. “Our brand is known for leveraging pop culture icons, Internet memes and YouTube sensations, and this year will be no different. We know what type of entertainment our audience wants and there’s definitely something for everyone with this year’s cast.”
The "Get Crackin'" effort is scheduled to break with the Rodman, Prancercise woman Joanna Rohrback and elephant spots during America’s Got Talent, Survivor, Good Morning America and Late Night with David Letterman; as well as on cable networks such as Bravo, AMC, Food Network, SyFy and TBS.
The King Kong and Norman Bates ("He does it for his mother!") spots will break at a later date.
The brand aired a commercial during Super Bowl XLVII with PSY going a version of Gangham Style, but did not indicate whether or not it would return for Super Bowl XLVIII.
In his spot, Rodman sits alongside the faux Kim Jong Un. "The secret to world peace is pistachios," Rodman, complete with pistachio-green hair, says as he offers one to Jong Un. Jong Un pushes a red button and nukes Rodman. A voiceover says, "Dennis Rodman does it because he's nuts. Wonderful Pistachios. Get cracking'." (See the full spot here.)
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