In 2012 a YouTube video of a bearded old man named "Uncle Drew" dominating pickup basketball games went insanely viral. Uncle Drew was actually Cavalier's All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and the video turned out to be a digital short for Pepsi Max. It racked up millions of views within weeks. The ad was so successful that Pepsi and Irving went on to create several more short films featuring the now iconic character. For the release of the 4th video in the hit series Pepsi wanted to leverage Kyrie’s partnership with Nike and his massively popular Kyrie 1 shoe to activate influencers in the sneaker community to drive traffic and raise awareness around the film. A custom "Uncle Drew" color-way was created and 150 pairs of the shoe were made. Our challenge was to craft both an Uncle Drew visual identity and one of a kind influencer kit that would live up to the legendary persona.
This project drew significantly upon our two decades of experience crafting globally facing visual identities for Pepsi. Taking aesthetic inspiration from basketball's visually rich culture and referencing Uncle Drew's venerable features we designed an identity that evokes a throwback look while still feeling contemporary.
The project also drew upon our extensive experience designing and producing brand kits for influencers, brand ambassadors and media. We designed and produced a kit that felt authentic to Uncle Drew, connected personally with each influencer and gave them plenty of reasons to share with their audiences.
Influencers were ecstatic. They created and shared content that generated over 200,000 impressions driving a broader awareness of the campaign and contributing to the over 7.5 million views to date of Pepsi's film. Pepsi also successfully utilized the kits as coveted prizes in contests around the campaign.