Why can't basketball have cool ads, especially in the run up to an Olympics? It partially might be because NBC is so unwilling to hype USA basketball. If you're a major advertiser, why squander ad money on an underserved sport? Well, Jumpman has decided to come up with something cool anyway, looking towards the future with its "rise above" slogan. In the short film, Carmelo Anthony's Team USA exploits inspire two kids across the world towards a rivalry that extends into the future.
It's the kind of rivalry we wish we had in these Olympic Games. Team USA has been too dominant, and the spread of basketball to China has not resulted in a new wave of Chinese talent. After Yao Ming, the pickings have been slim.
International events have inspired some great advertisements over the years, but mainly in soccer. Nike's "Write the Future" World Cup ads fixed on a similar theme of how the future could be transformed by international sport.
The humorous ad was more about how success on the big stage would influence the legend of individual players. Jumpman's basketball ad depicts how success on the big stage will influence players we've never heard of.
This is indicative of a dichotomy between soccer and basketball. Soccer has already conquered the world, so much so that we can merely be interested in just how revered the triumphant will be. Hoops isn't quite there yet. We're more inclined to wonder just how much the sport can grow, on account of the cool Olympic basketball action kids are witnessing today.