Nike’s new ad campaign featuring Kevin Durant is in full-swing, and the message will make you do a double-take – which is kind of the point, right? The slogan is “KD IS NOT NICE” and pictures an angry Durant screaming on the court looking more like an entirely different Kevin – Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett.
Open this week’s Sports Illustrated and a full-page ad is on Page 3. To the left, inside the cover, is an accompanying full-page explaining exactly why “KD IS NOT NICE.”
- “Leading the league in scoring in not nice.”
- “Making defenders famous in all the wrong ways is not nice.”
- “Dropping 30 points before anyone realizes what hit them is not nice.”
- “Nailing three-pointers from way beyond the arc is not nice.”
- “Buzzer beaters, daggers and last-second fireworks are not nice.”
… You get the idea.
A link to Nike’s ad campaign can be found on the NBA front page on ESPN.com and new ads will be delivered via Twitter to those who request it.
Durant’s thoughts on the ad? “Oh, I love it. I love it,” a smiling Durant said after Friday morning’s shoot-around. “That was Nike’s idea.”
And the point of the message? “I think they’re trying to say I’m a nice person off the floor and respected when I’m on the floor,” Durant said. “People confuse that a little bit.”
But the slogan doesn’t work without the accompanying disclaimers. “Exactly, that’s what it’s there for. They do a great job with it, man,” Durant said. “Nike does a great job. I’m happy to be part of their family.”
Without the disclaimers, Nike’s ad would have been a perfect fit for, say, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. “K-PERK IS NOT NICE.”
Durant playfully was asked which message would be the more difficult ad to sell: “KD IS NOT NICE” or “K-PERK IS NOT MEAN”?
“I think the Perkins one,” Durant said with a smile and chuckle. “That’s the tougher one to sell.”
Perkins’ thoughts on a possible “K-PERK IS NOT MEAN” campaign for him? “Nah, ain’t none of that happening,” a grinning Perkins said, walking away. “I don’t need no help with that.”
– John Rohde