Big and Small Almost Didn’t Happen

Friday, February 21st, 2003 @ 7:41 pm | Mac, Sports

I was just watching SportsCenter and noticed they were doing a piece on the marketing of Yao Ming. Since he’s one of the most recognizable basketball players, both on and off the court, ads featuring Yao in non-basketball situations actually appeal to the general public. So far, this approach has resulted in Visa Yo/Yao ad during the Super Bowl and Apple’s Big and Small ad.

The thing that caught my attention was that Big and Small almost didn’t happen. Yao’s marketing team wants to avoid any commercial that focuses solely on Yao’s height. When Apple said they wanted to pair Yao Ming and Mini Me, the offer was almost rejected out of hand.

Once they read the script, though, Yao’s marketing team realized the ad wasn’t about “Hey, the tall guy’s using our computer” and didn’t have anything stupid like Verne Troyer playing defense against Yao, they agreed to film the ad.

The result is probably one of the enjoyable and widely accessible Apple ads in years.

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