(UPDATE: I got confirmation on this. It’s a social media campaign from Nike.)
I mentioned this in the Bolts, but I thought it deserved a little more attention: There is a person on Twitter that’s also posting YouTube videos called @KD35sneighbor. Basically, “Mathias Murphy” is hiding in the grass across the street taking videos of Kevin Durant ordering pizza, moving in to his house, getting in his car and taking out his trash.
At first glance, it just appears as a super weird, overzealous KD lover (but then again, aren’t we all?) that’s fortunate enough to live next door. But the more you look at it, the more the real culprit kind of reveals itself. (Also as Patrick James pointed out to me, check out the full-sized harp in the moving video. A harp? Really?)
It’s got to be some viral marketing from Nike. Has to.
The giveaway to me is that KD retweeted about the guy taking videos of him. If this were a real thing, it just doesn’t seem like that would happen. KD is following him on Twitter too. Then of course there’s the fact that this is kind of a brilliant viral ploy. The videos are done really well. Almost too well, really. They’re a little too shaky, too informal and too viral-y. Of course I could be wrong here, but to me, it just seems like that’s the case.
Now assuming this is viral marketing, which I’m almost positive it has to be, what’s Nike’s plan? Nike is marketing KD’s normal-ness and how down to earth he is. That’s cool because that’s how KD is, but there’s just something there that makes me a little uncomfortable. Like the part about how KD ordered pizza and the guy says, “I bet his brother answers the door… oh no, it was KD!” Like we’re all supposed to be like, “OH MY GOODNESS KEVIN DURANT GETS HIS OWN HOME FOOD DELIVERIES!”
I appreciate that Kevin Durant is humble and normal as much as anyone. Heck, if KD does anything slightly humble or cool, I write 1,500 words about it. But I just fear the more we play up this angle, the more tired people are going to get of it. SLAM writer Russ Bengtson already kind of started in last night making fun that KD couldn’t wear his halo on the court. If we over-saturate that Durant is so awesome (and I mean we as the national people, so really, not we), could people get all Durant’ed out? I don’t think it’s possible because this stuff isn’t a sham. KD is really, truly, actually this way.
It’s not that I completely don’t like it. The videos are clever, funny and it shows how KD really is. Durant is legit. He’s a regular guy that happens to be awesome at basketball. So why not market that?
But if this is indeed marketing, it just showcases again how Durant is different. Michael Jordan was about marketing his greatness. LeBron has been The King. Kobe had the puppet commercials about all his rings. And here’s Kevin Durant, being marketed as normal and humble. It’s something different. I just hope it’s not something bad.