New ad features Djokovic and Sharapova
August 24, 2011
New York City — HEAD, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of premium sports equipment, today brought together two of the biggest names in tennis, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, to debut the Company’s new viral and TV campaign, and to present Maria Sharapova’s new HEAD tennis racquet and racquet bag collection, which she helped design.
The new campaign features HEAD Player and ATP #1 ranked Djokovic, impersonating Sharapova, in a funny, light-hearted imitation. Well-known in tennis circles for his imitations, the good-natured Novak has built a strong following for his uncanny ability to capture mannerisms and gestures of other well-known players. The centerpiece to HEAD’s newest digital campaign launching right in time for the US Open is a two minute video featuring Novak imitating Maria during a training match, which launched today on youtube.com/headtennis.
The viral spot features Novak with a blonde wig doing his famous imitation of Maria, including many of her well-known mannerisms, only to unveil at the end that his opponent was, in fact, Maria. As the spot closes, Maria rockets a return winner by a shocked Novak with her new HEAD YouTek Instinct racquet.
Both players were on hand in New York for the Company’s HEAD-to-HEAD event for media, customers and members of the worldwide tennis community. A broad base of U.S. and International media gathered at New York’s Benjamin Hotel, expecting to welcome Maria Sharapova on stage first. However, the audience was surprised, but amused, by the appearance of world #1 player Novak Djokovic, donning a blonde wig. Novak stayed in character and responded calmly as Maria to questions by master of ceremonies Bill Macatee.
True to the viral spot, Maria again had the last laugh. When it came time for the first audience questions, Maria suddenly appeared from the back of the room, and proceeded to light-heartedly chastise Novak, before joining him on stage to unveil the new viral campaign, and answer questions from the media.
How It Started
The light-hearted fun between the two superstars started with Novak‘s “reinterpretation” of HEAD‘s product spot, in which Maria talks about the features and benefits of her new YouTek Instinct racquet. Novak does a first-class, spot on impersonation of Maria, and posted his irreverent version on his own Facebook page this past Thursday — prompting hundred thousands of Facebook users to view and share the video (youtube.com/watch?v=NK1ZNUuP8ws). Maria responded promptly on her own Facebook page, jokingly asking “Hey Novak, is that your new road to success…imitating me. I’m a little disappointed you did not wear my dress and I think you can work on your body language a bit more.” The two stars began to correspond via the social network site, and when Sharapova offered to give Djokovic a few pointers for his impersonation, they agreed to meet in New York for a ‘training session’.
“It’s been a lot of fun to shoot these spots with HEAD”, Novak commented, “and I think it’s great how Maria played along and proved her humor and character when agreeing to be part of it!”
“It is all in good fun, Novak and Maria are good friends, and the initial response to the campaign has been tremendous,” added Robert Marte, Executive Vice President of HEAD Racquet Sports. “We are very proud Maria and Novak are members of our HEAD team. They are not only outstanding athletes, but also great personalities, and we are very pleased they’ve both had strong success playing with HEAD products.”
Links to New Campaign
The new viral campaign, which was developed by HEAD’s lead agency Aimaq von Lobenstein in Berlin, will run throughout the U.S. Open. A link to HEAD’s new TV Spot is available by logging on to: youtube.com/watch?v=I7OfaRAWEXA.
HEAD also launched an app on the Company’s Facebook page encouraging users to submit their best photos impersonating either Maria or Novak http://www.facebook.com/headtennis?sk=app_118122418286690.
Footage from the event will also be available on HEAD’s youtube brandchannel youtube.com/headtennis.