I was watching Monday Night Football (OK fine, it was on in the background while I shopped for shoes on the Internet) when a commercial caught my attention. The moment: Derrick Rose grabbing his knee on the Bulls home court; all of Chicago stopped in disbelief, fear, sadness. Bartenders spilled drinks, fans slumped over without a cheer left in their hearts, a basketball silenced on the playground courts. Suddenly, a sound of happiness—the clanking of metal. But not just any metal, the leg press. That’s right; Rose is working out, and he is working out hard: grunting during ab work, quick breaths during cardio and sharp exhales during the bench press. Then there’s the slow clap, the cheerleader’s pom pons, and the crowd’s screams. And finally, like a hero back from war, D Rose enters the arena ready to take back his game...his city...his world.
If I didn’t do a good enough job explaining it, watch the commercial here.
Every now and then, something grabs your attention, pulls you in and gives you goosebumps. You might smile. You might cheer. You may even shed a tear. But once it is a part of you, you don’t forget it. I am not even a Bulls fan (Let’s go Cavs!), but this commercial made me smile. It made me happy for Rose, and, more importantly, it made me an advocate. This content was downright amazing. Plus, who doesn't love a comeback?
I checked it out, and thanks to the handy hashtag #thereturn, I found out Rose’s return is an entire web series. (For those of you who already knew about this, admittedly, I’m a little late to the game, but forgive me, please.) Adidas really nailed content marketing, and in video format no less. Let’s take a look at why this content really works:
- It Gets Personal: In the first episode, Rose is explaining his story, and even admits to praying and crying while getting an MRI, just hoping that his ACL isn't torn. Taking a celebrity and showing that he is a real person gets just about as translucent as you can get—something millennials appreciate. Rose takes us through the entire process of surgery and rehab in his own voice. He tells us how tough it is, but how important it is.
- It Gives Us Something to Believe In: In episode two, we see Rose at a low point watching his team in the playoffs. But then we see him rise up and begin to get healthy. We see him train, sweat, and start all over. He has hope, and so do we. When you give people something to stand behind, they will usually rise up with you.
- It Gives Us Something to Relate To: Here we see how hard Rose has to work to make his dreams come true. We learn that everyone, even rock stars and NBA all stars, have hurdles to overcome. Now we know if he can do it, why can’t we? Hard work pays off. It's inspiring.
- It Introduces the Product: Only in episode four do we even know what product Rose is actually selling. But it isn’t rubbed in our faces. The episode acts as a ‘behind-the-scenes’ take of his commercial for Adidas. After three previous episodes, we already know and like Rose, so when he tells us about shoes for Adidas, guess who’s going to buy them? (The shoes I was shopping for online have a bit more of a heel, but I might need a new pair of workout shoes...)
- It Shows Us What’s Truly Important: To Rose, there are few things that are truly important: his family and winning a championship for his fans. In episode five, we learn that it is what drives him to be better. It also kind of makes us want to buy the shoes that will help us do better...see how that works?
- It Invites Us to Be a Part of Something: From that knowing look in his eye as Rose turns and looks into the camera during the last second of the official commercial, to the hashtag where we know we can find more, Adidas invites fans to become a part of The Recovery—a winning move.
When you implement these ideas into your content marketing, whether it be print, blogs, downloads, videos, podcasts, tweets or any other channel, you are bound to come up a winner. After this content, we are all in for D Rose. Lebron who?