Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Kobe's rape rap pays off

The LA Times today runs a feature on ”Kobe’s Hollywood Makeover,” reporting that “lofty stats have put a rape charge and feuds with teammates in the past, helping rejuvenate the Bryant brand.”

So if the past is put behind him, why does Kobe Bryant’s Nike ad (left), the one that’s plastered on the side of a building on Wilshire Boulevard in downtown L.A., look like a mugshot?

And why, with the tagline, “Just do it,” does the ad immediately bring to mind the “just shut up," "just turn around” and “just kiss it” details of his rape allegations?

Kobe was once seen as too aloof, too cultured, too Italian, by the admen. Now, Nike’s got his $130 Zoom Kobe I shoe, launched with a "love me or hate me" commercial blitz (and a profile mugshot to go with the front shot released by police in Colorado).

The Times reports: “Sales of Bryant's shoe has been brisk, not at the level of LeBron James or the ever-popular Michael Jordan, but in the same sphere as Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony, according to analyst Matt Powell of SportScan Info, a pro sports retail tracking firm.

"’Retailers signified it was a good start,’ Powell said. ‘I'd say it met expectations, for sure.’"

By the way, according to the Urban Dictionary, two hip-hop definitions of the word “zoom” are:

"to fool," as in "who's zoomin', who's foolin', who's zoomin', who's foolin' who?"
participating in sexual intercourse,” as in Dr. Dre & LL Cool J’s “All I want to do is zoom, zoom, zoom.”

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