Ad of the Day: James Harden Plays the Internet at HORSE for Foot Locker

Can he match your trick shots?

Headshot of Emma Bazilian

Remember the old basketball game HORSE? The one where you and a friend take turns trying to make baskets, and whoever doesn't make one gets a letter, and if you get enough letters and spell HORSE first, you lose? Or something like that?

Well, Foot Locker and BBDO New York recently invited people to play HORSE with Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden, aka an actual NBA player.

Before you (rightfully) say, "Wow, that sounds like a terrible idea. Obviously the regular human is going to suffer an embarrassing loss," understand that Foot Locker has a very loose definition of the word "play." In this case, the game of HORSE did not involve two people actually interacting on a basketball court. Instead, people were asked to share videos of themselves making crazy shots (presumably after at least 100 failed attempts) using the hashtag #HorseWithHarden, which Harden would then try to replicate.

The actual "games," recapped in the YouTube video above, aren't especially riveting. What is riveting is watching Harden interact with the nameless hype man in the video who was apparently hired by Foot Locker to make loud noises and be a general annoyance to everyone. You'll remember the sound of his grating, high-pitched shout-squeals long after you remember why you were watching James Harden play HORSE in the first place.

You know that FX series You're the Worst that everyone seems to really like even though the promos looked terrible? That show is probably about this guy.


Client: Foot Locker

Title: "Horse with Harden"

Agency: BBDO New York

Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars

Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn

Executive Creative Director: Chris Beresford-Hill

Executive Creative Director: Dan Lucey 

ACD/Art Director: Jesse Snyder

ACD/Copywriter: Tim Wassler

Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe

Associate Director of Digital Production: Joe Croson

Lead Producer: David Martinez

Shot Producer: Eric Bloom

Associate Producer: Courtney Fallow

Production Supervisor: Michael Gentile

Account Director: Janelle Van Wonderen

Account Manager: Nick Robbins

Assistant Account Executive: Samuel Henderson

Senior Digital Strategist: Rhys Hillman

Production Company: The Kitchen

Director: Lawrence Chen

Line Producer: Jonathan Hsu

Director of Photography: Tinx Chan

Live Broadcast Switcher: Marcus Taylor

Live Editor: Keith Vogelsong

Event Recap Video Editor: Nick Divers

Music: Apollo Studios

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.
Publish date: October 3, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT