Issue 83: Nothing Better Than a Corny Local Commercial

If you’re only now finding out about Crisp Bounce Pass, you can subscribe here!​

If you’re enjoying Crisp Bounce Pass, please forward this email to your friends! 🏀

No matter where you grew up, you probably saw commercials from local businesses. These are the car salesmen, the carpet cleaners, the small restaurants, and the boutique shops that had no shame in getting you to come check out their store.

Some of them relied heavily on gimmicks; others jumped on the catchy jingle train. And a few choice companies brought NBA players to help hawk their wares.

The result: Pretty atrocious acting, rough scriptwriting, and a lot of hilarity for us. Let’s check ‘em out.

The Spurs Hit Up H-E-B

Kicking us off: the San Antonio Spurs, who just celebrated Tim Duncan’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which included a very touching speech. So you can watch that if you want to have your eyes well up, but we’re here to LAUGH.

H-E-B’s tagline is “nobody does it better than my H-E-B,” and having lived in Austin for several years, it’s pretty spot on. What a great store. They knew it was smart to partner with a similarly dominant Texas dynasty in the San Antonio Spurs, and no matter the cast of players, the Spurs routinely deliver.

Some players certainly get more into it than others. Manu Ginobili looks like he’s never had more fun in his life. Duncan rarely shows emotion — laughing and getting ejected during a game notwithstanding — but put some H-E-B items around him and he’s a whole new person.

If you have 14 minutes today, I’d encourage you to check out all of the Spurs and H-E-B commercials. For now, here’s a taste below.

Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs had an awkward breakup, but back when he was still in the San Antonio fold, he told reporters he gets requests to say “indubitably” at least once or twice a week from fans. That’s some legendary local commercial status.

Scottie Pippen and a Six-Foot Sub

In WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike’s DoorDash commercial, she’s dunking a pizza through a hoop. At least a pizza is round, like a basketball. Sure, you might have some uneven edges, but you’re generally getting a circular shape.

In this commercial from Chicago’s Mr. Submarine, we see Scottie Pippen slamming a sub through a hoop, instead. But that’s far from the best thing going on.

Pippen, who’s 6’8”, dribbles up next to a six-foot sub, which is standing upright on its own like some kind of breaded Godzilla.

He declares this is one six-footer he can’t handle one-on-one and then invites Chicago Luvabulls dancers Kim and Cheryl to help him out, saying a totally normal line that we’ve all uttered at one point or another:

“Ladies, let’s have a party.”

The “party” then features everyone sitting cross-legged at halfcourt, chomping on that sweet Mr. Submarine action.

I also need to give some dap to Cheryl. She has perhaps the most difficult choreography in this entire commercial, which requires her to gracefully slide in between Pippen and the monster sub. She does so effortlessly. Bravo, Cheryl.

Larry Bird Riddles Us for a Truck Commercial

If this commercial teaches us anything, it’s that Larry Bird enjoys a good riddle. In this 1982 commercial for Rodman Ford, a dealership in Foxboro, Mass., Bird starts off with a real thinker.

But before we can ponder too much, Bird reveals the true answer: it’s a green and white Ford, you fool!

There’s literally nothing going on in this commercial except Larry Bird walking and talking around a car.

No music. No sound effects. Not even a voiceover at the end. It’s just us and Larry. And there’s something sweetly poetic about that.

Bradley Beal with an Incredibly Casual Lip Sync

Eastern Motors is a car dealership in the DMV area, covering Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The only NBA team in that region? The Washington Wizards. So, snagging a young star from the team makes sense.

I’ve listened to this commercial at least half a dozen times and I’m still not entirely sure what the jingle says. I think it’s “At Eastern Motors, your job’s your credit,” which I assume means anyone that’s employed can buy a car.

What we do know is this is one of the most casual lip syncs we’ve ever seen. Beal doesn’t look particularly comfortable, but Eastern Motors has a solution for that.

Just add in NFL players Brian Orakpo and Jordan Reed and Beal suddenly looks like a professional car dealer. It’s all about surrounding your players with the best talent.

Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge Croon for McLoughlin Auto Mall

Hmm, we’re certainly getting on a car theme here, aren’t we?

Back in 2013, there was talk LaMarcus Aldridge might leave the Portland Trailblazers and join another team. McLoughlin Auto Mall, then a new dealership, decided to use those rumors for the basis of their commercial.

I’m not entirely sure why the setup for this involves both Lopez and Aldridge singing before the latter stops everything and holds a press conference, but we’ve got some wonderful green screen work going on, regardless.

McLoughlin Auto Mall thankfully gifted us with a blooper reel, too. The majority of it is the whole commercial and then the director telling Lopez how to say “ooh ooh ooh.”

As you may expect, Lopez is frustrated when he can’t nail it. He better head to Disney World, just to be safe.

Other Reads and Watches

Tracey Holmes: Lauren Jackson Inducted Into WNBA Hall of Fame

Mark Spears: Natasha Cloud on returning to the WNBA after taking a year off

Kyrie Irving on the other things in life more important than basketball

Candace Parker joined Trevor Noah on The Daily Show

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


P.S. Did you get this post shared with you? Subscribe to Crisp Bounce Pass here.