By Barry Janoff
November 18, 2015: Comedian/actor Tracy Morgan, who suffered life-threatening injuries during a car accident in June 2014, is back, and his timing is perfect.
Morgan appears in two commercials for sports apparel and footwear company Foot Locker, supporting the retailer's annual "Week of Greatness," which in turn are part of a multi-platform campaign that also includes Internet, social media and POP.
One spot, "Greatness in Common," also stars Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the NFL's Green Bay Packers.
The other, "Imitators," features Morgan along with cameos by his wife Megan and daughter Maven.
"We're excited to unveil our two new commercials featuring Tracy Morgan to kick off our annual 'Week of Greatness,'" Stacy Cunningham, evp-marketing for Foot Locker, said in a statement. "We enjoyed working with Tracy to usher in his own return to greatness as part of our holiday campaign."
Lead agency is BBDO.
According to Morgan, "I had a great time working with Foot Locker and was grateful to work with my wife and daughter in one of the spots. It means a lot to me to be able to team up with Foot Locker on their 'Week of Greatness.'
"I'm happy to do this for my fans and hope to make them laugh during one of the biggest weeks of the year!" said Morgan.
In "Imitators," Morgan and a friend enter his house after shopping at Foot Locker. "The 'Week of Greatness' came back strong this year," says Morgan's friend.
"Got to," replies Morgan. "If you don't come back strong, imitators will try to replace you," a reference to Morgan's time away from the stage due to his accident. "Trust me."
With that, Morgan, somewhat paranoid, says to a man serving lunch to Morgan's daughter, "You putting' food on my family's table! Trying to replace me!"
"I'm the new chef," the man replies.
Then, when the front door opens, an irate Morgan truns says to a flower-delivery guy, "You bringing my wife flowers, Romeo! Trying to replace me, too!"
"They're for you," Megan says to him.
Next, Morgan has another target for his tirade. "You! You got a lot of nerve coming back here, same as always."
Turning to his friend, Morgan offers, "The same guy is always in my bathroom. I wanna be mad at him, but he's so handsome." Turns out that Morgan is looking at a reflection of himself in a mirror." (See the full spot here.)
In "Greatness in Common." Morgan compares his return and the Week of Greatness with other things in which he and the Week of Greatness might have in common. In Morgan's vision, that includes: Owing $300 to a rare fish dealer named Maurice, prank-calling the Kremlin and popping out of a cake at Aaron Rodgers' birthday party, despite not having been invited. (See the full spot here.)
Both spots end with the text, "Greatness is back. The Week of Greatness at Foot Locker."
Foot Locker's Week of Greatness campaign last year featured a spot, "It's Happening," in which Manny Pacquiao envisioned a fight with Floyd Mayweather, which became a reality several months later.
Morgan's comeback has also included hosting Saturday Night Live, where he had been a regular from 1996-2003, on Oct. 17. He currently is filming Fist Fight, a comedy due in theaters next year; and is in discussions to play iconic comedian/actor Redd Foxx in the upcoming bio-pic, Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?
"This week is all about bringing new premium sneakers, apparel and gear into the hands of our customers and we're happy to do that in such a fun way," said Cunningham.
Foot Locker said its "Week of Greatness" features premium releases from such brands as Nike, adidas, Jordan, Under Armour, Puma, Timberland, New Balance and Asics.
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