Apple is hoping you’ll buy an Apple TV—and it’s relying on Kobe Bryant’s age-insecurity to do it.
In a new ad unveiled on Sunday, Apple (AAPL) showcased Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, along with famed actor Michael B. Jordan. In the ad, the men are sitting in a trailer and Jordan says he’ll be playing Bryant in a biopic about the basketball star’s life. But with help from Apple TV, he reveals that he won’t focus solely on his younger years.
“I’m playing you all the way through, with makeup and prosthetics and all that,” Jordan tells Bryant, much to the basketball star’s dismay.
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Meanwhile, the two celebrities are seen using the Siri function built into Apple TV’s remote to search for films and go to a specific point in a movie showcasing what Jordan might do in his performance. Soon after, Bryant, who will retire after this season, kicks Jordan out of his trailer.
The ad ends with Apple’s slogan for Apple TV: “The future of television.”
While Apple TV has been available for several years, it was long called a “hobby” by the company, including its late-co-founder Steve Jobs. Apple last year broke the Apple TV out of the hobby category by delivering a new version with onboard storage and an app marketplace. It’s unknown how many Apple TV units the company has sold, and Apple has largely stayed tight-lipped about its performance, but Apple clearly believes it’s onto something with its set-top box.
Meanwhile, Apple has begun to increasingly rely on celebrities to promote its services. The company earlier this month partnered with mega-star Taylor Swift in an Apple Music ad that quickly went viral and was watched tens of millions of times within just a few days. Apple has also worked with country music star Kenny Chesney.
The Kobe Bryant idea comes as Jordan’s star is rising in Hollywood. The film star came off a successful showing in Creed, the successor to the Rocky series. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant, widely regarded as one of the best players ever in the NBA, last year announced that he would retire at the end of this season. Bryant’s season will come to an end later this week, providing perfect timing for Apple to catch the Kobe wave.
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This isn’t the first time Apple partnered with Kobe. In 2014, he was among the many celebrities that were offered a first look at Apple Watch, and was allowed to test it before it was unveiled.