I gotta say that I'm pretty impressed with the NBA's marketing approach this year. The whole Where _______ Happens campaign they've been doing throughout this season has been pretty good. They've been using it for just about everything and it's made for hilarious spoofs too.
For the playoffs, they've introduced this new campaign entitled There Can Only Be One, in which they have two superstar players side-by-side in a split screen talking about what it takes to make it through the playoffs. From a production standpoint, it's pretty tight because they have the faces aligned perfectly so that the mouths, noses, eyebrows, and even edge-ups line up. I really wonder how long it took them to actually get that final product. My guess is that they had one player do it a couple of times and then the other player emulated.
Anyway, the first one I saw was with Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O'Neal:
The next one I saw was with Jason Kidd & Steve Nash. Is it just me or is Nash actually darker than Kidd???
I think I may have seen this next one with Chris Paul & Dwight Howard once on TV:
The fourth commercial between Kevin Garnett and LeBron James, I actually hadn't seen before on TV:
So which one of these 8 players will actually be hoisting the championship trophy in late June? Well it's definitely not looking like Shaq since he and the Phoenix Suns are down 3-0. According to Dr. Hoops' predictions, the Big Ticket will be rocking the ring this summer. I guess we shall see...
Update #1: The NBA has just started a user-submission component of this campaign. Fans can now download official NBA player faces and create their own split-screen compilation. As I said before, the NBA's marketing campaign this year was on point. This is just another way to get the fans more engaged with the league. With numerous roll-the-dice trades during the regular season, a speculated close MVP race, and a super-competitive NBA playoffs, the NBA is doing very well this year.
Update #2: Time Magazine will use the NBA's split-screen concept with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the cover of their upcoming May 5, 2008 issue about the 2008 U.S. Democratic race:
Kinda creepy if you ask me...
Update #3: Saturday Night Live took the Time Magazine cover even further and did a hilarious spoof: