You’ve seen the “Uncle Drew” commercials. But are you ready for the movie?
Because that’s about to happen. So continues the unlikely rise of a concept that was never even intended to be a broadcast ad in the first place.
“Uncle Drew,” for the uninitiated, is the advertising alter ego of Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving dons old clothes and heaps on tons of makeup to transform into Uncle Drew, an old geezer who breaks ankles and dunks on flummoxed pickup hoopers at the park. (Oh, and Uncle Drew wants you to drink Pepsi.)
Uncle Drew made his debut back in May 2012, when a five-minute short film of Irving-dressed-as-Drew became an immediate online sensation. In that original spot, Drew shows up at an outdoor basketball court and dominates pickup players who seem to think they are actually being schooled by an old man, not an NBA star.
A shortened version of the spot then became a broadcast ad during the 2012 NBA Finals something that a Pepsi marketing mastermind told us at the time was not the original plan until the ad’s overwhelmingly positive reception online.
Now up next: An Uncle Drew feature-film starring Irving (whose middle name is Andrew).
That premise wouldn’t be a huge leap. Pepsi followed the original Uncle Drew spot with sequels co-starring Irving and other NBA stars also dressed as old men.
Meanwhile, here’s the original 2012 YouTube spot that created this whole monster. It’s been viewed 48 million times since first it first hit the web.