Ohio’s Son Returns Home

02-22-2014 AK_17-2

Lebron James is a man in the spotlight, that much is a given. His decisions as to where he plays have been under scrutiny. No matter where he chooses to play, video and media have played a large role in how James tries to portray himself to the general public. In the past few months James has made public his decision to go home to the state of Ohio and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers selected James first in the 2003 NBA draft. Because of this decision, a parallel to the story of the prodigal son has been drawn. In his most recent media appearance James tars in a campaign for Beats by Dre titled Re-Established 2014.

In the advertisement Lebron James goes to the high school he attended growing up, the gymnasium now bearing his name. He goes through a workout as he revisits the place that shaped him into who he is today. All the while flashbacks of his childhood come on the screen. A voiceover of his mother telling him to never forget where he came from plays in the background.

While this is an advertisement for Beats by Dre, it is little more than product placement in the story of redemption and being welcomed home. Lebron James is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world today and he utilizes this advertisements as a platform from which to let the world know that regardless of his departure from Cleveland in 2010, he has not forgotten his roots.

This advertisement is affective because it allows a platform for a controversial professional athlete to begin to clear his name and show his connection to his home remains. It is clear throughout the spot that Beats by Dre is a part of James telling his story, which in turn generates them revenue because that are now not only associated with James but also with the goodwill he seeks to generate with basketball fans across the nation.

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