Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buying Michael Jordan

The Hanes t-shirt commercial featuring retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan and actor Charlie Sheen is a narrative commercial. It begins with Sheen walking out a hotel. His eyes light up with excitement upon seeing Michael Jordan. We get a long shot to Jordan’s car as he talks on his cell phone to his mother, “Hi mom, did you get the flowers I sent you?” and then a quick cut to Jordan in his car ready to drive off, but Sheen is right there as he is about to drive off. The quick cut is used to show the excitement that seeing Michael Jordan elicits. We don’t see Sheen walking toward the car, we see him immediately in front of Jordan.

Sheen vainly tries to establish a connection with the NBA great the camera focusing a tight shot on Jordan’s face as Sheen asks if he like Korean barbecue we see an incredulous look on his face. Jordan pulls off and the camera cuts to Sheen and a hotel employee viewing Jordan driving away.

While Hanes t-shirts are the focus of this commercial the brand is essentially the selling of Michael Jordan, from what we hear of his telephone conversation with his mother, and how he and Sheen connect or don’t connect. The true connection comes in purchasing the same undershirt as Jordan. You may not connect with the basketball great on a social level, as Sheen vainly attempts to do, but you can wear the same Hanes undershirt.

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