It is unusual for an ad to lower viewers’ opinion of the product and simultaneously lower viewers’ opinion of the endorser. But this ad pulls off that feat.
On an intellectual level, the ad explains how this new X-Temp underwear speeds evaporation to keep you cool and dry. The person in the underwear is a poor golfer who is thrust into a foursome with Michael Jordan. Despite the pressure of his poor play and Michael Jordan’s disdain, he stays cool–thanks to his underwear.
Surely, people more often need sweat evaporation underwear to stay cool when they’re hot rather than to stay cool under social pressure. But let’s leave that aside.
Viewers don’t watch an ad intellectually. They let the ad wash over them and they experience the connections made.
The real message of this ad is far from the intellectual message its creators imagined. Viewers learn from the ad that people who wear X-Temp underwear are nerdy, unathletic, and clueless, and are people Michael Jordan finds annoying. Few will be eager to join that group.
And viewers form two opinions about Michael Jordan, a long-term, charismatic Hanes endorser:that Jordan doesn’t seem to wear X-Temp underwear himself, and that he is impatient rather than gracious. What a waste.
Why not suggest that the X-Temp wearer can accomplish more because his underwear keeps him cool? Why not suggest that Michael Jordan wears X-Temp underwear or would like to do so?