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Down, but not out: Kenny Powers still working


ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. It does not endorse any product, services or agency. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

Has-been athletes everywhere will be relieved to know that Kenny Powers is still gainfully employed by shoemaker K-Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS) as a spokesman for Tubes.

The latest collection of commercials featuring the foul-mouthed anti-hero of HBO’s original comedy Eastbound and Down was posted to YouTube recently and have since caught their fair share eyeballs. The 2-minute-30-second “Behind the Scenes” short that kicks off the campaign has 387,604 views at the time of this writing.

“Kenny is the CEO; you shut up.” He’s calling the shots at K-Swiss, “doing his thing,” and “being awesome.” Like Kenny’s other Tubes commercials, the spot it silly and engaging. Among the featured co-stars appearing beside actor Danny McBride are supertrainer Jillian Michaels (director of community outreach) of NBC’s Biggest Loser, long-distance runner Josh Cox, MMA champ Jon “Bones” Jones, and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Matt Cassel (director of marketing).

If that’s not enough Kenny and friends, check out the 1-minute-30-second “CEO Kenny Powers” clip that follows.

Are those clips too long? Then watch “NFL” — a 30-second clip that has 20,874 views so far.

As he did in last year’s “Leg Press” and “Secret Muscles” spots, Kenny in “training” (taunting) far superior, still-employed athletes — in this case it’s Matt Cassel and the 49er’s Patrick Willis (VP of carnage). We see the Tubes in action as Cassel and Willis sprint up and down the field (“Cassel, are you CRYING?”), and finally as they overturn Kenny’s horned golf cart. (“You should be ashamed of yourselves, and I am very ashamed … for you. Just so you know, that’s coming out of your paycheck.”)

Although the longer clips are entertaining and make for great time killers, even the 15-second spots are engaging. What’s impressive about these clips is the shorter scripts still maintain the character’s voice and leave us with an imprint of the brand. “No Middle Choice” features Jon “Bones” Jones in a gym where the motto is “Stop Not Training.” Kenny’s toned-down character is in full force for the 15 seconds (“Do you think Jon “Bones” Jones could train like that with any ol’ stupid pair of shoes?”) and we get see the shoes for one second as he talks (“It’s either Tubes or weakness.”) and for another second after the KSwiss logo flashes. Then, like in the other spots, we’re reminded Season 2 of Eastbound and Down comes out Aug. 2 on Blu-Ray. Well, whaddya know?

As a fan who loved the six-episode first season, I was disappointed in the second. So save your money — maybe for some Tubes.

Want more of Kenny before the third season? Go to the K-Swiss YouTube channel or visit the K-Swiss Facebook page and “escape the wrath of Kenny.”

EARLIER: More on Kenny Powers


EVEN EARLIER: K-Swiss recruits Kenny Powers


Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her clients'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

3 thoughts on “Down, but not out: Kenny Powers still working

  1. Pingback: Kenny Powers is back in ‘Eastbound’ « J's Pages

  2. Pingback: Kenny Powers is back in ‘Eastbound’ « J's Pages

  3. Hilarious! The behind the scenes may be funnier than the actual commercials. I could watch Danny McBride all day–very well done ad campaign.