Few sports celebrations are imitated as often as Dikembe Mutombo’s finger wag. The simple act of moving your pointer finger back and forth to convey “not today” has somehow outgrown the massive 7’2″ frame of the man who popularized it.
The NBA’s second-highest shot-blocker retired in 2009 and reached the NBA Hall of Fame in 2015. Since then, he took on a new role. As the brand ambassador for CHEQ—a military-grade cybersecurity company—Mutombo starred as the Chief Blocking Officer and now plays the role of a new fictional character: Mr. Reach.
In a new ad spot reminiscent of the Progressive ads featuring Flo as a goofy maid (who isn’t a maid), Mr. Reach helps a nameless sitcom family reach things. CHEQ didn’t even bother to give the family names, instead referring to them by common titles like “Mom,” “Son,” “Little Girl” and “Dog.” It’s a choice that brings some levity to the ad and makes sure the viewer doesn’t take it too seriously.
The cookie jar on the highest shelf poses a problem for “Little Girl” while “Dad” needs help removing a leaf from the center of the pool. Never fear, Mr. Reach is here. What makes this ad pitch-perfect is the mildly washed-out colors and a tune reminiscent of some of the 90s more classic family sitcoms like Full House and Family Matters.
For CHEQ, Mutombo is an unlikely ambassador that somehow makes sense. The company aims to point out the problem of other brand-safety solutions using blunt technology that blocks perfectly good content, damaging an advertiser’s media reach.
The spot could be perceived as a little risky by leaving viewers in the dark about the company behind the ad, up until the final seconds. For a company operating in a niche, it’s a bold choice. Luckily they are catering to advertisers who are the most likely demographic to be caught by the ad masquerading as a sitcom.
Strategy & Creative Concept: Daniel Avital (CHEQ)
Production Company: Optimum Productions
Executive Producers: Joseph Zuniga, Danny Gonzales
Director: Lyt Capell
Music: Bare Knuckles Creative
Chief Editor: Donovan Jones
Director of Photography: Pritchett Cotten
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