Hanes, the clothing maker whose sales grew 12% to $1.65 billion in Q2 2017 from a year earlier, debuted a mobile ad sweepstakes starring long-time spokesman Michael Jordan, according to a press release provided to Mobile Marketer. The “Chill Like MJ” campaign features the first choose-your-own-adventure Canvas Ad on Facebook and supports the brand's X-temp line.
The gamified campaign lets smartphone users make decisions on different scenarios starring Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls basketball team to six NBA championships during the 1990s. The viewer is encouraged to choose what they think Jordan would do and based on the selection, advance to the sweepstakes homepage.
The campaign also includes Snap Ads and a prank video on Facebook Messenger that uses in-app video stitching technology to make it appear as though the user is with Jordan. The sweepstakes winner gets a trip to North Caroline to play, attend a Charlotte Hornets game and meet Jordan.
The Hanes campaign is novel for its use of interactive storytelling to engage audiences in a narrative that has echoes of the ‘Be Like Mike’ slogan from Jordan’s famous Gatorade ads of the early 1990s. The campaign shows how interactive storytelling is gradually migrating from videogame and PC platforms onto smartphones.
Hanes is also showcasing new possibilities for Facebook’s Canvas ads. The social network in June released Canvas full-screen ads in its Collection format, where ads typically appear in people’s news feed with a large photo or video above a gallery of product images.
The higher level of engagement promised by interactive storylines is creating new opportunities for brand advertisers to reach viewers who are shifting to digital platforms. Netflix, the video streaming service with 100 million subscribers worldwide, last month debuted its first choose-your-own-adventure shows that urge viewers to make decisions on the direction of the narrative. “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile” are the first two kids’ titles that have branching narratives.