It’s only fitting that Kobe’s last Nike commercial as a NBA player would be titled “Don’t Love me. Hate me,” considering his first Nike commercial, back in 2006, was called “Love me or Hate Me.”
The latest Nike ad from Wieden + Kennedy, shot in black and white with a close-up of Bryant’s face (similar to the look of the documentary ‘Kobe Bryant’s Muse‘) features Bryant giving a speech about why basketball fans love him and why they should hate him.
Because I gave you 4am. Because I pushed you when no one else would. Because I demanded greatness and greatness demands everything.
“Together with Nike China and Kobe, our team crafted the script and made sure the film was just as provocative as the man himself.” Said W+K creative director Terence Leong. “It was an intense and uncompromising process because Kobe was just as demanding on the creative team as he was on the Lakers.
“He chose to focus on becoming a legend rather than being a hero. When it comes to winning, Kobe is willing to push himself to risk everything. Because standing back and doing nothing, that’s real failure. This philosophy is very Nike ‘Just do it,’ and Kobe is the perfect person to deliver this spirit of Nike.”
LOVE ME OR HATE ME COMMERCIAL (2006)
The reception for Kobe Bryant’s latest commercial is sure to be welcomed with open arms but things weren’t that warm and fuzzy a decade ago.
Bryant signed a deal with Nike two and a half year before his first commercial with them debuted during a Thursday night TNT game. The reason for the long delay was because shortly after he left Adidas to ink a deal with Nike in 2003, the Colorado rape case happened. McDonalds and Nutella dropped him after the allegations and Nike decided it was best to just delay any campaigns with him until things were settled. The case eventually fell apart, was settled in a civil suit and then in 2006, the “Love Me or Hate Me” TV spot promoting the Zoom Kobe 1 was released.
Hate my game, my swagger. Hate my hunger. Hate that I’m a veteran, a champion. Hate that. Hate it with all your heart. And hate that I’m loved for the exact same reasons.
Most people welcomed the anti-hero spot from W+K while many others — like comedian Daniel Tosh (FYI, he is a Kobe and Lakers fan) — poked fun at the ad.