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Ad Infinitum
Pete McEntegart
April 01, 2002
The new CBS sitcom Baby Bob, about a talking infant, was spawned by a series of commercials for an Internet access provider starring Shaquille O'Neal. Bob is only the latest sports-related commercial to go on to an intriguing afterlife.
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April 01, 2002

Ad Infinitum

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The new CBS sitcom Baby Bob, about a talking infant, was spawned by a series of commercials for an Internet access provider starring Shaquille O'Neal. Bob is only the latest sports-related commercial to go on to an intriguing afterlife.

SPOT
In 1975 Miller Lite unveils Bob Uecker as Mr. Baseball in a series of ads poking fun at Uecker's mediocrity as a big leaguer in the 1960s.

FOLLOW-UP
Uecker reprises his affable persona in three Major League films and on the ABC sitcom Mr. Belvedere.

SPOT
In a 1979 Coke commercial Steelers defensive tackle Mean Joe Greene tosses his jersey to a kid who'd handed him a Coke.

FOLLOW-UP
The hugely popular spot inspires a 1981 NBC movie, The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid, with kid actor Henry Thomas (E.T.) playing opposite Greene. Critics pan the film.

SPOT
In Nike's 1992 Hare Jordan ad Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny play hoops.

FOLLOW-UP
The ad's feature-film offspring, Space Jam, debuts in '95. Jam gets mixed reviews but earns $230 million in ticket sales.

SPOT
Nike's 1999 Freestyle spot features NBA stars like Jason Williams dribbling to a pulsing hip-hop beat.

FOLLOW-UP
The ad's copywriter, Jimmy Smith, is writing a Freestyle-themed musical that's being choreographed by tap dancer Savion Glover.

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