Throughout the NBA Finals, Pepsi MAX drove millions of basketball fans across the world to a YouTube video profiling a breakout hoops sensation: a 70-something man known only as Uncle Drew who shows up on a New Jersey street ball court and dominates with a dazzling array of crossovers, dunks and long-range shots. The secret - which is revealed at the end of a 5:00 video created by Davie Brown Entertainment and cut by Rock Paper Scissors - is that the crusty septuagenarian is actually 20-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving in an elaborate disguise.
The video, which has earned over 14 million views on YouTube, follows Irving throughout the night. He slides into character on the car ride to the court, complaining about the lack of fundamentals in modern basketball, and then appears to reluctantly enter the game when a player on his "nephew" Kevin's team is injured. From there, Rock Paper Scissors expertly weaves together oncourt action and crowd reaction as Uncle Drew first seems to struggle and then begins to dominate, slicing the opposing team apart with a sequence of swished shots and impossible moves.
"No one except for the nephew character and the person who faked an injury so that Uncle Drew could enter the game knew what was really going on," noted Editor Damion Clayton. "That made for some really incredible crowd reaction shots. Kyrie played his part perfectly, making our job in the edit suite that much easier."
Client: Pepsi MAX
Spot Title: "Uncle Drew"
Air Date: June 2012
Agency: Davie Brown Entertainment
Creative Director: Marc Gilbar
Production: Minus L
DP: Brian Thomas
Line Producer: Angie Revell
Editor: Damion Clayton
EP: Carol Lynn Weaver
Audio Post: Heard City
Mixers: Philip Loeb, Evan Mangiamele
Music: Beacon Street Studios
Special Effects Makeup: Ed French
Assistant Make-up: Sue Lee