Who: GoDaddy, Juniper Park\TBWA and Wavemaker
What: “CJ Miles introduces ‘And-Onesie,'” the latest chapter in the website developer’s two-year “Follow Your Dreams” campaign with the Toronto Raptors. Previous ads have featured Jonas Valanciunas and ex-Raptors Patrick Patterson and Lucas Nogueira (“Itty Bitty Ballers”), as well as Norman Powell (“Powell On the Piano”).
When & Where: The spot, which builds on the original “CJ’s PJs” commercial introduced in October, debuted Jan. 28. It is running on TV during Raptors broadcasts, supported by paid online.
Why: By attaching the ads to a physical product—CJ’s PJs and the And-Onesie are sold on the CjsPjs.ca website for $90, with proceeds going to Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada—the campaign demonstrates GoDaddy’s ability to help would-be entrepreneurs bring their dream to life. “Instead of just creating an ad that tells you why GoDaddy is good at what they do, we actually created an ecosystem to prove it,” said Juniper Park/TBWA chief creative officer Graham Lang.
How: The 30-second spot features the Raptors star introducing an extension to his hugely successful “CJ’s PJs” product line—the “And-Onesie”—during a boardroom presentation. For non-hoops fans, the “and one” refers to the bonus free throw a player is awarded if they are fouled in the act of making a basket.
The Fast Break: Juniper Park\TBWA only had about six hours of access to Miles, considerably less time than a typical commercial shoot. “When you’re working with non-actors, you need to manage your script and work with what you have,” said Lang. “You don’t want to give him too much performance or too much dialogue, because you don’t have the rehearsal time to walk through every step.”
But What About the ‘Curse’?: Miles’ numbers across the board—from points per game, to field goal percentage and free throw percentage—are all down from his career averages this season, leading Raptors fans to speculate about the legitimacy of the so-called “GoDaddy Curse:” the theory that appearing in the ads can jinx players. It’s part of the risk brands take whenever they align with sports stars, whose performance can vary from year to year. The good thing for Miles, then, is that he doesn’t have to lose any sleep over it.