Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lindsey Vonn: Another "Dan & Dave"?

The injury to heavily publicized Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn reminds me of Reebok's disastrous 1992 "Dan & Dave" ad campaign. Do you remember that? Reebok launched a massive advertising blitz during the Super Bowl that year asking viewers to vote on which American decathlete would be more likely to win a gold medal at the upcoming Barcelona olympic games that summer: Dan O'Brien or Dave Johnson.  A series of TV commercials featuring Dan and Dave then continued unabated for another 5 months, transforming both men from total unknowns to household names.  

But it all ended very disappointingly, with injuries and spectacular underperformance. Dan O'Brien failed to qualify for the Olympics at all when he missed a pole vault attempt at the olympic trials in New Orleans, and Dave Johnson (who persevered through a foot injury) won 'only' the bronze.  As an epilogue, Dave Johnson retired shortly after the Barcelona olympics, but Dan O'Brien came back to win the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta summer games.

If you care to revisit the whole fiasco, I've embedded below a 1 minute clip that strings together several of these vintage TV spots. (Until I watched this, I had forgotten entirely about the whole "athletic shoes with built in air pumps" fad.)

No comments:

Post a Comment