Jun 23, 2008

Charlies AngelsI will be the first to admit that, on my sports hierarchy list, women’s tennis does not necessarily rank very high.  That might change now though, due to an espionage-filled new ad campaign featuring tennis superstars the Williams sisters, Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova, among others.  The idea is that of the Grey ad agency, and will cost the WTA roughly $15 million dollars, the largest marketing foray ever undertaken by the WTA.  More information from  The Guardian,

The Women’s Tennis Association campaign, which will run in more than 75 countries, has been timed to break over the summer when tournaments such as Wimbledon and the US Open raise the sport’s profile to a seasonal high.

WTA’s TV campaign features a total of 10 players from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, including Sharapova, women’s No 1 Ivanovic, and Venus and Serena Williams.

The campaign, which includes press and digital advertising, uses the idea of the champion tennis players as “superheroes both on and off the court” using the strapline “Looking for a hero?”.

WTA’s ad opens with shots of the tennis stars dressed in casual attire in everyday situations. They then each receive phone calls, on sponsor Sony Ericsson’s phones, and dash off superhero-like to re-emerge dressed for competition in their tennis outfits.

Kudos to Grey Agency for this campaign.  It’s hard to go wrong with the superhero/spy angle, and the camera angles in the commercial itself add a “cool” factor which should appeal to viewers older and younger alike.  Combine that with the fact that Wimbeldon started today, and it looks like the WTA has just put a couple million dollars to pretty good use.  The ad, which has now gone world-wide, can be seen on the Guardian’s Website.

The Guardian — Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic star in WTA tennis ad

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