Novak’s Razzle Dazzle Pasties

Head’s new ad campaign has monsters, potty talk, and Novak Djokovic

Sakhi sent this video to me. Haven’t seen it on TV but I’m happy to see that Novak Djokovic has returned to clowning because that’s his personality and he’s looked awfully glum since he stopped doing his hilarious player impersonations.

When I looked into the ad campaign a little further, I realized that this is one of the more sophisticated ad campaigns I’ve ever seen from the corporate tennis world. As you can see by those razzle dazzle tasseled pasties in the video, I’m not talking about sophisticated entertainment, I’m talking about its reach as in marketing online and referencing everything from monster movies to video game shootouts. By the way, Novak is a talented dude isn’t he? I’m not sure I could do that spinning pastie thing and I have a lot more to shake than he does.

The pastie ad is only the beginning. At (Novak’s racket is the Head YOUTEK Speed Pro Racquet, head speed – get it?) you’ll find a number of stroke lessons that appeal directly to the video game obsessed male youth of today. In a series of simple but wonderful line drawn animations, you’ll find a Butt Winder missile twisting its way up the rectum of a fleeing Godzilla character who’s forced to turn and run because his smash hit isn’t fast enough. No worries, he finds his smash hit (a song called Cabaret of Aggression – wait, is this a reference to the German cabaret movement in the Weimar Republic?) and ends up eating skyscrapers and making spaghetti out of train cars.

And I was wrong. There is some sophistication here. Once Godzilla finds his smash hit, it looks like he sits in triumph on top of the Guggenheim Museum as we hear a toilet flush. I can see it now: an academic conference deconstructing art criticism as seen in tennis ad campaign videos. We might be talking sophistication but not subtlety. The smash lesson reiterates its message that speed kills by showing a tennis player’s (biological) balls being separated from his body then being run over by a tank.

In the service stroke video, a slow French waiter (server is another word for waiter) adds enough speed to his serving to wipe out his restaurant customer and steal his customer’s brainless bosomy girlfriend. There’s also another art reference when a hapless tennis player’s face gets sliced up until it looks like one of Picasso’s cubist women. Clearly Head is not targeting women tennis players in these ads.

Potty talk, smashed balls, buxom women, and lots of blood splatter: what else could an adolescent male ask for? And this is the point of the campaign. The racket is called the YOUTEK. You should be able to get whatever you want. But it’s also a reference to the You Generation and if you remember, “You” was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006. They were referring to youtube, myspace, and all of the other web goodies the youth of today obsessively communicates with. Head has done an intelligent thing by taking advantage of it.

Tennis fanatic Elton John is performing at Andy Roddick’s wedding this weekend. I bet Elton could do a bang up razzle dazzle pastie performance on cue.

I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about the Monte Carlo semis. Nadal versus Murray and Djokovic versus Wawrinka.