Creating Brand Folklore – Roger Federer & Gillette Serve up a Winner

A video featuring tennis star Roger Federer that plays on our collective fascination with “real or fake” hit the web earlier this week and has quickly gone viral, accumulating more than 700,000 views as of this morning.

The video, which was shot at the filming of a Gillette commercial shoot in Switzerland, features Federer serving a tennis ball and knocking a can off the head of one of the production crew members – twice in a row. A Gillette spokesperson tells Mashable, “All we’ll say at the moment is we’ll leave the ‘real or fake’ debate up to the viewers, but the evidence is there to see. Roger’s skill and ability is incredible (that’s why he’s a Gillette ambassador!) so of course it was filmed in one take during a shoot for Gillette Fusion’s partnership with the British Skin Foundation.”

As the video goes viral and approaches 1 million views, we’ve been reflecting on how effective celebrity/brand relationships can be when handled right. To-date the high profile sportsman/Gillette sponsorship has been fairly traditional in its execution, but whether by good planning or good fortune, this Federer viral video takes Gillette’s brand storytelling to the next level. The debate about whether this ad is genuine or fake adds to its momentum and buzz. There seems to be a great deal of authenticity in the production from the response of the crew to the nervousness of the guy being served-at. Ehether the video’s real or fake – who really cares, we love it and it’s working it’s butt-off for the brand.

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Dave Ansett, Brandamentalist
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