Westlake Village-based K-Swiss has gone yard in landing an athletic endorser for its newest product.
It’s got a pretend athlete. A pretend ex-athlete. One with a terrible past and a bright future mocking self-absorbed has-beens.
Kenny Powers, the ficticious, dillusional blown-up MLB relief pitcher that Danny McBride plays in HBO’s series “Eastbound & Down,” is the face of the new Tubes shoe that are beginning to saturate TV spots, print ads, billboards and movie theatre commercials.
Actually, it started with our latest edition of ESPN’s magazine, when the Powers ad flapped over the front cover with Powers holding the shoe with that typical Powers look, with the caption:
“Tubes. If you don’t like them, then change your mind.”
The rest of the two-page ad has Powers on a leg-press machine — with two hot women there acting as the weight’s he’s pushing, and Jeremy Shockey screaming at him to keep pumping.
“Tubes: Train the F Out” is the slogan of the ad for the neon-green and gray footware.
More ad copy: “Tubes weigh a measly 12 ounces. That means less tired legs when you’re training or, you know, running from the law for extended periods of time.
“The cool looking holes on Tubes are called ‘Tubes.’ The big tubes on the outside are squishier than the little tubes on the inside so your ride is smooth and stable, like a bullet-train on implants.
“Tubes have a breathable performance mesh upper. It’s bascally lke having a goddamn air conditioner on your foot while you’re getting your swell on.
“Tubes have a super-bendable outsole, based on the natural foot-flex of world class athletes like myself. So you can accelerate like female fans through the open door of my bedroom.”
L.A.-based 72andSunny helped launch the campaign. It includes this billboard at Venice Beach, as well as another in Times Square in New York, with a 1-888 phone number where people can call to get an “inspirational” message from Powers.
“We wanted to delivery unfiltered straight talk about how awesome Tubes are and who better to do that than Kenny Powers?” said David Nichols, executive vice-president of K-Swiss, a company that started in Van Nuys. “This approach is attention grabbing – progressive, creative and playful, which is our marketing mantra.”
The campaign, of course, works for HBO, too. “Eastbound & Down” Season Two starts Sept. 26, with Powers still thinking he can make a big-league comeback.