Genius Sports Illustrated basketball ad is a design slam dunk

Sports Illustrated Germany has celebrated the return of the EuroBasket 2022 championship with a special issue dedicated to basketball. And in its pages is a genius advert courtesy of independent Berlin-based agency FRASER.

The European Basketball Championships have returned this week, and the latest issue of Sports Illustrated Germany caters to the appetites of basketball fans hungry for news and interviews with a special issue dedicated to the tournament.

But as well as an exclusive cover story where basketball superstar Dirk Nowitzki reveals all about the NBA, the German team and his personal plans for the future, there is a series of advertising campaigns developed by FRASER which examines the public's fascination with the sport by exploring three different emotions.

Our favourite piece of the campaign is 'Paper Ball'. This analogue yet 100 per cent interactive print advert invites Sports Illustrated Germany readers to become active basketball players themselves by tearing the advert out of the magazine, following the series of intricate arrow instructions, and tossing the scrunched-up piece of paper into the bin (or recycling, if you're feeling green).

Its genius was to turn a piece of paper into a game anyone can play, as well as hang it off the current tournament. It's such a simple but effective idea that you can't help but wonder why nobody has done it before.

Other elements in the campaign include 'Goosebumps'. This advert establishes a connection between a basketball's unique, bumpy texture and the prickly sensation people feel on their skin while watching a game. Last but not least, the video ad 'Swoosh' picks up on another basketball phenomenon: the apparent one-of-a-kind sound you get when the ball goes through the net without touching the ring.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Sports Illustrated Germany again," says Fernando Barbella, ECD at FRASER, acknowledging the support the agency has offered the magazine since its first issue was published in December 2021.

"The launch of this new basketball edition gave us the playful freedom to create an interactive ad that's one hundred per cent analogue. We also experimented with the hypnotic effects of ASMR sounds.

"To quote Dirk Nowitzki: 'It's fun being around guys that want to work, that want to learn, that want to get better'. That's how we feel every time we work with the Sports Illustrated team."


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