Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Powers’


Two video streaming services seemed like one too many. So my crew recently dropped Netflix. For now. Odds are that we’ll be back, probably when it rolls out new seasons of “Orange is the New Black” or “House of Cards.”

The surviving platform: Prime Instant Video. Not because it’s better, but because it’s linked to free two-day shipping from Amazon. And I order a lot of stuff from Amazon. Billy Madison had nudie magazine day; I have Amazon shipment day – that’s when refrigerator-sized boxes (with smiley faces on the sides) arrive filled with diapers and baby wipes. It feels good to be stocked up in terms of poo extraction supplies. (more…)


Don’t panic, people. Everything’s going to be okay. It is Monday. Sorry. But these are The Tapes, our weekly links section that usually runs on Fridays, a nice cap to the week. But it’s been a few weeks since we’ve run them and a series of weekend events has led us to running these at the start of the week instead of the end. So hopefully you still enjoy them, even though you still have five days of work left.

* The New Yorker gets a redesign.

* Chris Jones on what happened on the flight from Dallas to Washington after JFK’s assassination.

* The NBA is likely going to change the format for the Finals, which is currently a 2-3-2. They’ll make it like the rest of the playoffs with 2-2-1-1-1.

* One of the Italian scientists convicted of failing to predict a deadly earthquake, who was sentenced to six years in prison, is still trying to say he shouldn’t be blamed. The nerve, huh? When ever someone complains about the U.S. judicial system, make yourself feel better by reading about the Italian one (this case, Amanda Knox, The Monster of Florence).

* The New Republic originally didn’t like Animal Farm.

* Take the Breaking Bad super quiz.

* Grantland goes on the set with Kenny Powers.

* Yankee fan or no, Mariano Rivera’s final appearance at Yankee Stadium was very cool.

K-Swiss: Pardon my French

Posted: August 8, 2011 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Is American ready to buy blue?

The mail arrived at my house like it does every weekday. But this time, it may have signaled a turning point in the history of advertising.

On the back ESPN The Magazine was a full-page ad – a mock of the front cover – for K-Swiss featuring Kenny Powers, the arrogant, foul-mouthed, overweight, washed-up pitcher portrayed by actor Danny McBride in the HBO series “Eastbound & Down.”

I’d seen Powers in online ads for K-Swiss before, but never as the back cover of one of the most read magazines in America. That’s another level.

See, Powers is a fictional character and he’s endorsing a real company. That in itself is fairly unusual. Add in the fact that his catch phrase features the F-bomb and, well, this seems like uncharted territory.

Don’t get me wrong: I watch and enjoy the show. This has nothing to do with being a prude or moral implications, and it’s not a jumping point for the end of civilization. Rather, I’m interested in where things go from here. How does the campaign do? And is this the start of a new trend, pitching R-rated ads to General Audiences?

Powers is hardly Bart Simpson, who created an uproar maybe 20 years ago by inviting people to eat his shorts. This is comparable to Andrew Dice Clay being hired to shill New Balance, something that certainly didn’t happen.

I get what K-Swiss was trying to do – trying to be edgy and change perceptions. What sport is the company most often associated with? Tennis. That’s not very cool, especially right now with the lack of cool and/or talented Americans.

And, to be clear, there’s nothing vulgar in this particular ad. But that’s not the case for others in the series. What’s more, the campaign can only be effective if you know who Kenny Powers is. And it’s impossible to know Kenny Powers without knowing how he (bleepin’) rolls.

In that regard, K-Swiss has put out a dirty joke disguised as an ad campaign. Are we ready for that? Or is antiquated given the popularity of the show (and far more obscene things) to even pose the question?