Terry Tate: Office Linebacker was a series of short comedy TV adverts created by Rawson Marshall Thurber, for the company Reebok. The first appearance of Terry Tate was at the 2003 Super Bowl. “Terrible” Terry Tate, an American football linebacker, is played by Lester Speight who “gives out the pain” to those in the office who aren’t obeying office policy.
Reebok originally produced 6 episodes between August to December 2002 with another episode Terry Tate, Office Linebacker: Sensitivity Training being made on February 1, 2004. There are in total 9 episodes and the advertising campaign was one of the most successful of those in the history of the Super Bowl halftime shows.
However although it is a successful campaign in terms of attracting viewers and attention, it is questionable as to whether the campaign was able to increase recognition of the Reebok brand. An online poll once indicated that only 55% of respondents affiliated the ad with Reebok. On the other hand, despite being only aired on national television once, the short film was downloaded more than seven million times from Reebok’s website.
Some of the catch phrases from the series:
“The pain train’s comin'”
“You kill the joe, you make some mo'”
“You can’t cut the cheese wherever you please!”
“Cu’z when its game time, it’s pain time!”
“Don’t bring that weak ass stuff up in this humpy-bumpy”
While the first episode implies that hiring an office linebacker is a highly unorthodox practice, future episodes depict office linebackers as becoming a common practice.
Unfortunately I can’t obtain an embed code for the advert but you can watch it by clicking here.
Reviewing Terry Tate Advert:
The story line of this ad campaign is certainly successful in capturing your attention. The cuts showing the big hits and emotion of the actors are certainly well produced. However it feels as if it needed something more just to make it that extra bit special. 4/5
Although it captures your attention, making the affiliation to Reebok in this advert is a difficult thing to do. When I was searching for this advert to bring to you, I admittedly only could remember the title (Terry Tate: Office Linebacker) and not which brand it was advertising. I originally searched for it thinking it was Adidas. This is certainly questionable advertising and branding if I’m unable to remember which product or brand was being advertised. For poor brand recognizability I can only give this a 1/5.
The pace of the short film is generally good however it does begin to drag out after a while. 4/5
The sound depicts an office environment and definitely makes the advert scenario believable. However the background music doesn’t keep up the pace of the short film completely. 4/5
A failure in terms of marketing the Reebok brand, but a success in terms of capturing the attention of viewers.
What about you?
What do you think of the advert? Would you hire an office linebacker or prefer to work as one? I’d love to see your feedback in the comments below.